Now Boarding: Fly Humboldt to Denver
Jul 09, 2019 01:43AM
● By Nora Mounce
In 2018, travel giant Lonely Planet named Northern California’s Redwood Coast the number one travel destination in America. Waxing and waning over our ancient forests and empty beaches, Lonely Planet invited globetrotters “to achieve the ultimate California mellow.” Local businesses widely shared the announcement a long-overdue and well-deserved nod hoping to be a little less lonely behind the redwoods in coming years. But the miles between the splendors of the region’s famous Redwoods National and State Parks and the not-so-nearby cities of Portland and San Francisco still pose a challenge for travelers wanting to see the sights. Since PenAir stopped servicing the Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport (also known as the Eureka Arcata Airport) with direct flights to Portland in 2017, San Francisco via SkyWest, a subsidiary of United, has been the only available flight until the addition of service to Los Angeles (LAX) in 2018. While renting a car and driving is a great option for families and groups, direct flights into Humboldt are cause for celebration.
This June, SkyWest/United launched a new service from the Humboldt County Airport to Denver, Colorado the flagship home of Sensi magazine. The inaugural flight departed on June 7, making the trek across the western states in less than three hours. Over the years, several new direct- flight destinations have come and gone from the Humboldt County Airport, but Denver is one of the first that gets locals off the West Coast. The launch is supported by Fly Humboldt!, founded in 2011 and supported by the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission (RREDC) with a goal of “creating better flight connections from Humboldt County to the world.”
“I’m excited about this direct connection,” says Sensi CEO Ron Kolb, who founded Sensi Media in Denver in 2016. The cannabis-friendly publication has grown to nine markets across the country, including Las Vegas, Boston, San Diego, and most recently, the Emerald Triangle. “This market is critical to the fast-growing [cannabis] industry,” says Kolb. “A direct connection to Denver is a game changer.”
Within the community, locals report on planning to use the direct Denver (DIA) connection for travel to Montana, Utah, New Mexico, and the Midwest. Not only will the service connect the Humboldt business community to new markets, but Denver is a major international hub for travelers from across the world. “Service to Humboldt County is a welcome addition to Denver’s growing domestic route network,” said DIA CFO Gisela Shanahan. “United’s new flights will not only provide visitors between our regions a more convenient option for travel, but Humboldt County-originating passengers will now have the opportunity to connect to more than 200 destinations worldwide through the DIA hub.”
RREDC Executive Director Gregg Foster has worked tirelessly to support Humboldt County and the entire Emerald Triangle’s growing role in the global market. “We know connecting with outside companies and markets is key to the success of our local economy,” said Foster. “This flight will be a great link to the Rocky Mountains and beyond.”