By Lance Gurwell
Wade Goetz is a trend watcher; he’s used that skill many times over the past quarter of a century in putting together more than 15 businesses. Over the past few years, he’s noticed that the number of daily flights to Grand Junction increased almost exponentially. But spotting a trend and turning it into a successful business depends on a critical element—timing.
“The timing is right for this,” said Goetz of his latest endeavor. He formed Charter Alliance Group LLC with his wife Carolyn, and has agreements with air charter companies to sell “fractional charters” on the airplanes they fly daily to Grand Junction.
“We’re one of the pioneers bringing fractional charters to Colorado, allowing the public to travel on a pre-existing chartered flight at airline prices,” said Goetz. “We’re not skirting any rules; we’re just taking the cost of the charter and dividing it between the passengers. We’re going to exploit this opportunity that’s been here for the past 10 to 15 years and give people the opportunity to get to the Western Slope at half the cost of a regular charter and twice the convenience.”
This doesn’t increase the number of flights to Grand Junction, but does fully utilize space on aircraft already making that daily roundtrip. Not only will the fractional charters cut deeply into the cost of flying to Grand Junction, but it’s also going to shave hours of frustration off the trip.
“Basically, what we can offer is curbside-to-curbside service,” said Cliff Honeycutt, president and owner of Denver Air Connection, which flies a Metroliner 23, a twin-engine, pressurized turboprop that can carry 19 passengers, but is configured to carry some freight to its destinations.
For business passengers flying from Denver International Airport, the benefits are huge. No more getting to the airport two hours early and no more long drives out and back to DIA. Of course, there’s always that little issue of parking, and for the truly lucky, standing in line with your shoes off. All this, so you can fork over more than $400 for the right to go to Grand Junction.
Goetz said many details remain to be worked out, but the possibilities are huge. The Charter Alliance Group could turn out to be a national charter clearinghouse.
“A few minutes in front of the computer and you’ve booked a fractional charter just about anywhere,” said Goetz.
Legally, Honeycutt said, the business could have been started years ago, but the timing wasn’t right.
“In real estate, it’s location, location, location; in business, it’s timing, timing, timing,” he said.
For more information, or to confirm a flight, visit [http://www.charteralliancegroup.com], or call 720-233-8060 or 888-288-8897.