Del Rio Economic Development Corporation (DREDC) board members have allocated $40,000 for marketing efforts to promote Del Rio’s commercial air service.
The DREDC board unanimously approved a resolution to authorize funding to support marketing efforts for American Airlines during its Dec. 19 meeting.
After DREDC Chair Leo Martinez announced the agenda item, EDC board member Lucas Gilliam made a motion to approve the resolution. EDC board member Mark Brown gave the second.
“I think last fiscal year, before I came back to the city, I think the board authorized $25,000 (for airline marketing efforts),” Del Rio Economic Development Director Oriana Fernandez told the board at the start of discussion on the agenda item.
She said during the board’s last meeting, EDC Vice Chair Jerry Simpton had suggested allocating an additional $40,000 to $50,000 to the effort for the2019-2020 Fiscal Year.
“I’m just trying to be a little bit more fiscally conservative in the event you all decide to use funds for promotional purposes like sponsorships of the Ports-to-Plains conference, et cetera,” Fernandez added.
“I just wanted to clarify that this is a new $40,000, in addition to anything we’ve already given,” Gilliam said.
The last allocation, $25,000, Simpton said, had been budgeted and spent.
“The $40,000 is for this fiscal year,” Fernandez agreed.
Gilliam said he believed because the DREDC and the city are beginning to discuss plans for expanding the airport, “I think we’d be crazy not to do this.”
Simpton said during a recent joint meeting between the DREDC and city council members, some council members “weren’t super optimistic” about the airlines’ ridership.
“But I’ve gone out of town, and I know Leo (Martinez) has gone out of town, and (on our flights) there weren’t any seats left,” Simpton said.
“My wife used the airline the week after Thanksgiving to go to Las Vegas, and there were no empty seats, on the way up or back,” Gilliam said.
“That’s great to hear,” Fernandez said.
“I was very impressed with the load factors,” Simpton said.
Martinez then called for a vote on the motion, and the six DREDC members present for the meeting voted unanimously to approve Gilliam’s motion to approve the resolution.