News in Brief
September 27, 2006
Since May, Pitkin County has levied a 15 percent fee on the gross profits of car rental agencies with offices off the airport grounds, and agencies are crying foul.Jim Olivera of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group told county commissioners Tuesday that “15 percent is too high.” He called the charge anti-competitive and a barrier of entry into the marketplace. He said that the national average was 8 percent, and while 10 percent was not uncommon, 15 is beyond the norm. Eagle County’s airport charges 14 percent.Olivera represents one of three car rental agencies that are off-site; they have no counter at the airport, nor a counter in the terminal. The 15 percent of gross income they pay the airport is a “privilege fee” to pick up passengers at the terminal.The three large rental agents with counters at the airport – Hertz, Avis and Enterprise – pay rental fees for counter space and parking, as well as 10 percent of gross profits and $4.50 per day for every rental.Jim Elwood, airport director, said the county earns very little from off-site rentals, but with matching federal grants the gain could mean up to $500,000 for an airport busy making big capital improvements (runway, new operations center and plans for a new terminal).The Pitkin County commissioners approved the first reading of the proposal and will hold further discussion.
The Pitkin County commissioners approved the first reading of the proposal and will continue in further discussion.
Roaring Fork Valley nonprofit organizations are being urged to apply for space in a new community center in Basalt.The community center is under development in the old brick building at the Basalt Elementary School campus. It is available because of construction of a new school.The Old Brick team is committed to preserving a home for the many nonprofit and for-profit organizations that have been part of the community. Arts, recreation and family resource groups may apply.Applications are available at Basalt Town Hall and Basalt Old Brick’s website at http://www.basaltoldbrick.org. Completed applications are due Dec. 1. Space is likely to be available Jan. 15.