Opinion: Direct flights to Reno from Newark would benefit ski areas
November 15, 2016
Dear Mr. Wirth: While we've not met, I feel I've known you for many years and that perhaps I may be able to provide added insight regarding the Oct. 27 Sierra Sun article on travel from/to New York, "What Reno airport's recent growth means for North Tahoe-Truckee."
My name is Darryl Dworkin and I began coming to the Tahoe area with my wife, Vita, on our honeymoon. At that time we lived in New Jersey, I was a Mattel executive and my wife was a J&J executive. Our honeymoon was based at Stateline and that was 42 years ago.
Over the past 42 years we have been coming to the greater Tahoe area annually or more. We've had, and have, a timeshare since about 1980 and about six years ago purchased our home in Incline.
For the past six years, until June when we retired (from our NJ business after leaving Corporate life), we've been making two to three trips back and forth a year spending a total of 6 ½ months here and 5 ½ there. Most of the time here in winter. We ski and perhaps are two of the few true "snowbirds."
You might say we have a certain amount of expertise on the greater NY area to Reno "ability," and with that said I'll get the heart of my message.
Consider two facts before conclusion and summation.
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Fact one is flights from the East Coast to Salt Lake, about an hour short of Reno if direct, are pretty much daily, and during winter bringing the flight ticket to the ski resort provides a free ticket for the afternoon. Leaving before 9 arrives before lunch.
Fact two is that, in truth, the single flight from the NY area's smallest and most difficult airport (LaGuardia) is inconvenient to get to and timed poorly.
Conclusion is that I, we would suggest that until a major carrier has direct regular daily schedules from NEWARK (the singular NY airport that also attracts NJ customers in droves), and back, it is unlikely Reno will achieve the goals as mentioned in the Sierra Sun article.
We got here, with difficulty, but got hooked on the region and kept coming back. Consider how many more would-be avid Tahoe skiers if there were actually regular convenient flights of about 5 hours instead of most travel requiring at least 8 hours and a plane change somewhere.
It's a shame that the well-advertised American direct flights between the East Coast and Reno did not come to fruition. Wasn't that just about 6 years ago when the banners were all around the airport? Actually, didn't American fly direct back in the '80s?
Hopefully, somehow, you and the R.A.S.C. can make the goal a reality … from Newark.
P.S. Perhaps you recall that several years back, the Hearth Products Association had, for a few times, their annual convention at the Reno Convention Center. The Atlantis loved it and since the fireplace convention (that was our business) was in February, the ski areas benefited as well.
That convention went away, to Las Vegas, as again the ability to get here was detrimental to the members.
Darryl R. Dworkin is an Incline Village resident.