Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport Authority considers Contour advertising push | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

The Mid-Ohio Valley regional airport authority met Tuesday morning to discuss marketing plans after Contour Airlines released an update making it easier for customers to book flights through American Airlines. (Photo by Candice Black)

WILLIAMSTOWN – The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airports Authority met Tuesday morning to discuss possible marketing plans following an announcement from Contour Airlines that would make it easier for customers to book.

Working with American Airlines, Contour Airlines has made it possible for travelers to book a trip from Parkersburg to various locations around the country and around the world without having to recheck baggage while connecting via Charlotte.

Previously, booking a trip with American Airlines from Parkersburg was only possible through travel websites. According to Contour, customers can now book directly through the American Airlines website, and Contour will be offering bookings on its website within weeks.

Airport manager Glen Kelly met with the agency to discuss whether or not the group wanted to commercialize this update with a US $ 12,500 grant from the state.

“I’m worried about the vaccines and how they will affect future travel.” he said.

Kelly discussed the previous marketing strategy and how many viewers the digital billboards got, especially the one from Chick-Fil-A in Vienna, which has had more traffic in its transit since the pandemic began.

“The return on investment from marketing is very good in my opinion. The COVID effect has made the one billboard a great billboard. “ Kelly said.

As announced in the Wood County Airport Authority last week, the $ 12,500 grant can be used for other improvements or updates related to the airport.

Kelly asked the agency for their opinion on whether the funds should be used to market Contour’s announcement or whether they should be used to meet other needs.

Wood County Commissioner and Authority Blair Couch requested that half of the grant be used for marketing purposes and the other half for other purposes.

“I think marketing lets Contour know that we take them seriously and want to support them.” Said couch. “(If) we spend half of it finding the ideal billboards for a while and using the other half for the expenses we need, either way I would say this is a safe game.”

The application was accepted to spend half of the grant on marketing and re-evaluate it in March to assess the COVID-19 situation at the time and determine how best to use those funds.

After the agenda items were addressed, Washington County Commissioner Ron Feathers requested clearance from the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport Authority.

“I find it very strange that three voting members from Ohio on the board of directors are making suggestions that are not too valid for West Virginia.” Springs said. “The Wood County Airport Authority and the County Commission are the real ones. I understand they are good intentions (but) for about 17 years I haven’t seen anyone on my side of the river take it seriously. “

Couch responded by talking about some of the reasons the Mid-Ohio Valley agency was founded 17 years ago.

“We started this group seventeen years ago to increase the population.” he said.

A motion has been made to file Feathers’ application and meet the agency to meet early next year to discuss clearing the group and review the agency’s affiliated statutes to see what requirements exist.

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