July Business of the Month: Laramie Regional Airport
The Laramie Regional Airport was awarded the July Business of the Month by the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance.
We sat down with Airport Manager Jack Skinner to talk about the history and future of the airport, as well as community involvement. We met in the Cowboy Aviation Building, Laramie Regional Airport’s most recently finished project. The lounge area provided a vast view of the airport runways and a great setting to talk about the changes Skinner has seen over his 25 years as manager of the Laramie Regional Airport (LRA).
“We changed airline services to SkyWest United Express a few years ago,” Skinner said. “We went from 19 passenger planes to 50 passenger planes.”
This change led to exponential growth in passengers coming in and out of the LRA. Last month alone about 15,000 passengers flew out of Laramie contributing to a total of nearly 29,000 passengers in and out of the airport.
The growth has brought on projects that took place recently and projects for the near future.
“The Cowboy Aviation Building was a huge improvement,” Skinner said. “Now we have a place to receive private flights and a beautiful building.”
While this was the most recent project, two other projects are set to take place in the next year or so. In 2018, the runways will be resurfaced. And with the increase in passengers per month, along with new TSA equipment, a remodel of the main LRA terminal is due to start in 2018.
Skinner said the LRA opens itself to the community whenever possible. Several Business After Hours have been held at the airport along with open houses. The most recent activity held free to the public was Laramie Airport Day.
“We had 450 to 500 guests out to the airport and we gave over 100 people free airplane rides,” Skinner said. “We even had some first-time riders, we really try to just get involved with community awareness.”
Skinner said he does wish more people were aware of the convenience LRA provides to the community of Laramie.
“If you book online through United the prices are very competitive,” said Skinner. “And you don’t have the challenges of traveling out of town to get to the airport.”
Skinner emphasized the secure, free parking lot LRA provides and the short security line found inside the terminal. Hertz Rental car service is located in the terminal and Laramie has a few taxi services available along with Uber now, making getting into Laramie a breeze. In addition, SkyWest United Express provides conveniences other airlines have not in the past.
“We have a reliable airline now, they don’t cancel and delay flights like ones in the past,” Skinner said. “And we have morning and afternoon flights out and a late-night flight in. It’s a very self-sufficient airline.” This makes it fit into almost anyone’s travel schedule.
Being a smaller community, The Laramie Regional Airport goes above and beyond the standard other communities the size of Laramie might see, Skinner said. He added that the community working together keeps the standard high.
“We’ve been a member of the chamber for—for how long? —forever,” Skinner said not being able to put a number on it. He does know the LRA sees benefits from being a member.
“Being part of the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, you can tell that members help each other out,” Skinner said. “We’re all actually interested in working together to keep Laramie as nice as it is and we’re on the same page when it comes to attracting new members and new businesses to Laramie.”
To find out more about The Laramie Regional Airport or to book a flight, visit laramieairport.com.