Kelly Sloan, The Business Times
An upcoming feature on Mesa County in an airline magazine is seen as an opportunity to help local tourism and economic development efforts really take flight.
“This will certainly promote our tourist industry. But with 12 to 15 pages, we can really tell Mesa County’s story to readers from all over the country,” said Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese.
US Airways plans to publish a feature on Mesa County in the June edition of its in-flight magazine. The piece could be read by an estimated 3 million passengers expected to fly with the airline that month.
Pugliese said she came up with the idea to approach US Airways about the feature after reading US Airways Magazine on a flight from New York late last year. Pugliese took the idea to Mesa County Administrator Tom Fisher, who in turn arranged a call to the airline inquiring about a possible feature. Representatives from US Airways responded in short order and informed the county they would feature the region in the June edition.
Representatives from US Airways Magazine hosted a recent gala at Two Rivers Winery in Grand Junction to familiarize local businesses and residents about the project.
Nicole Bordges, business development manager for US Airways Magazine, said participants won’t be charged an advertising fee, but will be asked to cover production costs of about $3,700 a page. Participants will have until April 14 to reserve space within the feature. The editorial staff from the magazine will work with participants and groups to write a feature to tell their story and offer them the opportunity to preview copy and make changes if desired.
Bordges said an average of 6.5 million passengers fly on US Airways flights each month and that June is one of the busiest months for the airline. She estimated that roughly 3 million of those travelers read the magazine. In terms of demographics, the median age of a reader is 56 and their median annual income is $115,000.
Pugliese said the timing of the feature couldn’t be better. “It will be published right before the start of our festival season,” she said, alluding to such events as the Palisade Peach Festival, Colorado Mountain Winefest and Fruita Fall Festival.
Diane Schwenke, president and chief executive officer of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, called the US Airways Magazine feature an exciting opportunity. “With potentially 6.5 million people seeing it, this can do a lot to raise awareness of our community.”
“This could not only increase visitation to the region, but could catch the eye of some harried CEO looking to expand or relocate” Schwenke added. “It’s hard to quantify in advance, but there’s no doubt that this will raise awareness as to who we are and what we have to offer.”
Pugliese said she hopes that many in the region will participate in the project. “Mesa County is an attractive place to live, work and play, and this is an opportunity for our community to tell its story and market to people we would otherwise not reach,” Pugliese said. “It has to be a community effort if we want to make it succeed.”
The Downtown Grand Junction Business Improvement District plans to participate.
Schwenke called the project a calculated risk to increase business. “Sometimes you have to throw some bread out on the water. You need to have your line in the water to catch something, and this could prove a significant return on investment.”
For more information about participating in the project to feature Mesa County in US Airways Magazine, contact Nicole Bordges by e-mail at Nicole.email@example.com or call the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce or Mesa County.