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FiscAutTecGarte
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BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:28 pm

How is BKG airport doing? It certainly is a nice little airport, with it's single 7k' runway, 4 gate terminal, and incredible hilltop location.

https://flybranson.com

I see that Frontier is still there, but with just a flight to Denver.
It looks as if Sun Country might serve them out of Minneapolis/St.Paul soon thanks to some grant money.
Southwest gave it a try for about a year nearly a decade ago.

I sense Branson itself has a 3 to 4 hour by car catchment area, and not allot of people fly there. (similar to what you might find in the UpstateNY FingerLakes, Gatlinburgh/PiegoenForge TN, etc...) I personally like the area as it is a beautiful part of the country (I like nearby Eureka Springs, AK). However, It is very close to the similarly named Springfield-Branson National Airport (60+ miles, though the city of Branson is just 50+ miles from that airport). Seemed odd to build it with a larger alternative being so close.
 
Italianflyer
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:35 pm

Unfortunately I can't speak to the first point of question and I'm looking forward for others to chime in. All I can say is that I hope the dreamers at Gulf Shores, AL take a hard look at the BKG experience for plowing taxpayer dollars into their field of dreams.
 
freakyrat
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:57 pm

FiscAutTecGarte wrote:
How is BKG airport doing? It certainly is a nice little airport, with it's single 7k' runway, 4 gate terminal, and incredible hilltop location.

https://flybranson.com

I see that Frontier is still there, but with just a flight to Denver.
It looks as if Sun Country might serve them out of Minneapolis/St.Paul soon thanks to some grant money.
Southwest gave it a try for about a year nearly a decade ago.

I sense Branson itself has a 3 to 4 hour by car catchment area, and not allot of people fly there. (similar to what you might find in the UpstateNY FingerLakes, Gatlinburgh/PiegoenForge TN, etc...) I personally like the area as it is a beautiful part of the country (I like nearby Eureka Springs, AK). However, It is very close to the similarly named Springfield-Branson National Airport (60+ miles, though the city of Branson is just 50+ miles from that airport). Seemed odd to build it with a larger alternative being so close.


I passed through there once on a one-stop Southwest flight from Midway to Dallas Love. When I attended a military reunion in Branson I flew in and out of XNA from DFW and took a 2hr scenic drive to Branson.
 
freakyrat
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:58 pm

Italianflyer wrote:
Unfortunately I can't speak to the first point of question and I'm looking forward for others to chime in. All I can say is that I hope the dreamers at Gulf Shores, AL take a hard look at the BKG experience for plowing taxpayer dollars into their field of dreams.


Gulf Shores is a little different than Branson but both airports are good for seasonal service.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Tue Aug 16, 2022 9:01 pm

FiscAutTecGarte wrote:
I sense Branson itself has a 3 to 4 hour by car catchment area, and not allot of people fly there. (similar to what you might find in the UpstateNY FingerLakes, Gatlinburgh/PiegoenForge TN, etc...) I personally like the area as it is a beautiful part of the country (I like nearby Eureka Springs, AK). However, It is very close to the similarly named Springfield-Branson National Airport (60+ miles, though the city of Branson is just 50+ miles from that airport). Seemed odd to build it with a larger alternative being so close.


Without quibbling about the similarities and differences between Branson, Sevier County, and the Finger Lakes (FWIW I think the Finger Lakes are by far a larger flying market than the other two), it's instructive to look at the service levels in these places. ITH has something like 8 air carrier flights a day and ELM has two plus a bit of G4 service. There's not really an airport serving Sevier County; TYS has a lot of service but is also in a fairly big city. BKG lacks the city given that SGF has plenty of service.
 
ScottB
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Tue Aug 16, 2022 9:32 pm

Italianflyer wrote:
Unfortunately I can't speak to the first point of question and I'm looking forward for others to chime in. All I can say is that I hope the dreamers at Gulf Shores, AL take a hard look at the BKG experience for plowing taxpayer dollars into their field of dreams.


IIRC BKG was privately-financed, so the taxpayers didn't put much money at risk. The City pays the airport operator for each arriving passenger up to an annual subsidy cap.

FiscAutTecGarte wrote:
I sense Branson itself has a 3 to 4 hour by car catchment area, and not allot of people fly there. (similar to what you might find in the UpstateNY FingerLakes, Gatlinburgh/PiegoenForge TN, etc...) I personally like the area as it is a beautiful part of the country (I like nearby Eureka Springs, AK). However, It is very close to the similarly named Springfield-Branson National Airport (60+ miles, though the city of Branson is just 50+ miles from that airport). Seemed odd to build it with a larger alternative being so close.


Yeah, Branson is very much a drive-in market. The attraction is fairly regional and you'll need a car to get around while you're there, so why not drive?
 
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FiscAutTecGarte
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Tue Aug 16, 2022 9:34 pm

Yes, I was shocked by the growth of ITH airport for a town population of 30k.... Cornell is a good draw and of course Ithaca is 'Gorgeous' (okay, I'll see myself out the door now...). You could argue that BGM (Binghamton) is close by as well, but it gets almost nothing. But yeah, lots of cities (Rome, Utica, Syracuse, Albany, Schenectady, Rochester, Buffalo) along the I-90 corridor with 50-200k people that are in the Finglerlakes catchment (no watershed pun intended).

Interesting place Missouri.. home of both BKG (Branson Airport) and BLV (MidAmerica Airport)... Two recently built 4-gate airports that have folks scratching their head, 'Why?' At least BLV is getting use now.

I had forgotten that Branson (10k) and Eureka Springs (2.5K) had such small populations. Interesting, when you Google search on those two, you also get a Pigeon Forge (6.5k) and Gatlinburgh (4k) population comparison.

You are right though.. all small towns around Branson... and the close sizeable one (Springfield) has a good airport with lots of gates and service.

Branson has a population of 10k but some 17k+ rooms for hospitality. I see they get about 9 million tourist a year, but I wonder how many tourist are there Friday-Sunday during the higher seasons when folks might be flying in?

anyway, regardless, interesting airport...
 
Judge1310
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Wed Aug 17, 2022 1:45 am

Why does it seem like they were doing just fine back when AirTran serviced the airport?
 
Vctony
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:07 am

That area already has a number of airports (JLN, SGF, XNA) serving the same general catchment area. Plus, I know a decent number of people who end up flying into MCI or STL and driving to the Branson area.
 
CIDFlyer
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:30 am

FiscAutTecGarte wrote:

Interesting place Missouri.. home of both BKG (Branson Airport) and BLV (MidAmerica Airport)... Two recently built 4-gate airports that have folks scratching their head, 'Why?' At least BLV is getting use now.

.


Technically BLV is in Illinois (Belleville IL)
 
CIDFlyer
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:37 am

As mentioned above it seemed like AirTran had success there so not sure why someone else has not had a chance to replicate that service. I’ve always felt it could be a good little focus city for G4, even though they serve SGF it’s more for SGF originating passengers. Whether or not they would want to serve BKG or add some flights to SGF and market Branson as a destination city through Springfield though is the question.

Branson is a beautiful area with lots to do.

As mentioned above Gulf Shores isn’t really an apples to apples comparison. They already have a letter of intent from G4 to start service. Given the success of VPS it should do fairly well. G4 seems to create flying markets to areas once known as drive in markets (Destin and Myrtle Beach as examples)
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:49 am

FiscAutTecGarte wrote:

Interesting place Missouri.. home of both BKG (Branson Airport) and BLV (MidAmerica Airport)... Two recently built 4-gate airports that have folks scratching their head, 'Why?' At least BLV is getting use now.



anyway, regardless, interesting airport...


BLV is in Illinois, though does serve the St. Louis metro, and it is 25 year old. Also Uncle Sam had the runways there already.
Not sure the airports really compare that well save for on and off service. Remember Great Plains airlines and the Dorniers?
 
MIflyer12
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Wed Aug 17, 2022 12:21 pm

ScottB wrote:
Italianflyer wrote:
Unfortunately I can't speak to the first point of question and I'm looking forward for others to chime in. All I can say is that I hope the dreamers at Gulf Shores, AL take a hard look at the BKG experience for plowing taxpayer dollars into their field of dreams.


IIRC BKG was privately-financed, so the taxpayers didn't put much money at risk. The City pays the airport operator for each arriving passenger up to an annual subsidy cap.


It's a weird market. They got private money in hopes of developing the fly-in market and it really hasn't worked out. Few might have predicted today's Las Vegas in 1930, either.
 
Jshank83
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Wed Aug 17, 2022 4:42 pm

FlyingSicilian wrote:
FiscAutTecGarte wrote:

Interesting place Missouri.. home of both BKG (Branson Airport) and BLV (MidAmerica Airport)... Two recently built 4-gate airports that have folks scratching their head, 'Why?' At least BLV is getting use now.



anyway, regardless, interesting airport...


BLV is in Illinois, though does serve the St. Louis metro, and it is 25 year old. Also Uncle Sam had the runways there already.
Not sure the airports really compare that well save for on and off service. Remember Great Plains airlines and the Dorniers?


BLVs runway was built when the terminal was built, that was part or the reasoning to build it so the AF had another runway to use.

But agree on they don't really compare. BLV is older and serves a larger population, it also is in the middle of an expansion to be doubled in size.
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Wed Aug 17, 2022 4:58 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
FlyingSicilian wrote:
FiscAutTecGarte wrote:

Interesting place Missouri.. home of both BKG (Branson Airport) and BLV (MidAmerica Airport)... Two recently built 4-gate airports that have folks scratching their head, 'Why?' At least BLV is getting use now.



anyway, regardless, interesting airport...


BLV is in Illinois, though does serve the St. Louis metro, and it is 25 year old. Also Uncle Sam had the runways there already.
Not sure the airports really compare that well save for on and off service. Remember Great Plains airlines and the Dorniers?


BLVs runway was built when the terminal was built, that was part or the reasoning to build it so the AF had another runway to use.

But agree on they don't really compare. BLV is older and serves a larger population, it also is in the middle of an expansion to be doubled in size.

Good to know! I uses to fly I to Scott TDY back in the day and see non mil aircraft and presumed.
 
WaywardMemphian
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Thu Aug 18, 2022 4:15 am

BKG was up to near 100k enplanements at the hieght of AirTran/very early Southwest and Frontier service.
Then Frontier remade themselves the first time and stopped flying there and Southwest dickered with the AirTran routes keeping a Sat only MCO run and the touch and go between MDW and DAL. AirTran was fairly successful there. Now, XNA is much larger of an airport than the pre Great Recession days and SGF is as well. I still think BKG could flirt with previous enplanement highs with a stable lcc carrier like AirTran was to the right markets.

Here is an article on the conversion to WN and what was then daily AirTran flights to MKE and ATL.

https://community.southwest.com/t5/Blog ... ba-p/41035
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Thu Aug 18, 2022 1:30 pm

Is there an easy way to get from Springfield airport to Branson? 50 miles by taxi is expensive, but doesn’t take that long. Springfield has a decent amount of service so it may be hard to compete when it is leisure traffic to a city that most people drive to
 
KCaviator
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Thu Aug 18, 2022 4:13 pm

BKG seems like an obvious G4 destination, if not mini-hub to various other Midwest destinations. No one outside of the Midwest cares about Branson, but G4 could make several routes work. There's many resorts and attractions that could be bundled as well, which is -G4's bread and butter. Surprised they haven't tried yet, but they're already up the road at SGF, so not sure we'd ever see them at BKG unless money was used to lure them away.
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:37 pm

BKG (BBG) has what appears to be twice-weekly service to DEN on F9, which isn't all bad. However, at least for the time being, SY is taking a break.

What this market needs is regular regional jet service to ORD and ATL (say, twice daily each), but with the 50-seat, CRJ drawdown, such service seems unlikely. Another twist might be to flirt with Neeleman and see if he would be willing to spare an E190/195, or A220 to connect up to one of their midwest cities such as SDF and maybe to TPA, or MCO.
 
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FiscAutTecGarte
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:38 pm

KCaviator wrote:
No one outside of the Midwest cares about Branson, but G4 could make several routes work.


There are destinations all of the US that are like that.... places that are of interest to primarily people who live nearby. Branson has 17k rooms... that's a good amount of people and seems it could fill a few planes each week, even if most elect to drive. But man, that does appear to be an effortless drive to SGF from the Branson town center, whereas BKG is a bit twisty turny from the Branson town center.
 
smokeybandit
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Thu Aug 18, 2022 11:35 pm

I flew in there a couple weeks ago. Full flight.

Odd with no jetbridge. They deplaned front and back.

Strange location for the airport. You have to drive through a country club to get there
 
WaywardMemphian
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Thu Aug 18, 2022 11:45 pm

smokeybandit wrote:
I flew in there a couple weeks ago. Full flight.

Odd with no jetbridge. They deplaned front and back.

Strange location for the airport. You have to drive through a country club to get there


That's a nice course. Ozark's National

Top of the Rock is down the road and is an absolutely insane par 3 course. Then there's Panye's Valley.


https://youtu.be/hiLbwAbS3cQ
 
WaywardMemphian
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Fri Aug 19, 2022 12:02 am

FiscAutTecGarte wrote:
KCaviator wrote:
No one outside of the Midwest cares about Branson, but G4 could make several routes work.


There are destinations all of the US that are like that.... places that are of interest to primarily people who live nearby. Branson has 17k rooms... that's a good amount of people and seems it could fill a few planes each week, even if most elect to drive. But man, that does appear to be an effortless drive to SGF from the Branson town center, whereas BKG is a bit twisty turny from the Branson town center.


Not Always effortless.

All of Mr. Bass Pro's Resorts are south of town and straddles the line with Arkansas. That Golf Course is his. I'm still befuddled that Arkansas didn't include Boone Co in it's casino expansion so as to place one just south of casino less Branson. Marty and Wendy picked the wrong lake, lol.

Word is Silver Dollar City/Herchend Corp is about to build a resort.
 
smokeybandit
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Fri Aug 19, 2022 2:45 am

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Is there an easy way to get from Springfield airport to Branson? 50 miles by taxi is expensive, but doesn’t take that long. Springfield has a decent amount of service so it may be hard to compete when it is leisure traffic to a city that most people drive to



I don't believe so. After flying into BKG, we flew out of SGF due to flight timing on the BKG-DEN return flight. But we rented a car.
 
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aeromandan
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Fri Aug 19, 2022 3:30 am

Anytime I hear about this airport I think about that time Southwest 4013 MDW-BKG landed at the wrong airport in downtown Branson.

https://swamedia.com/releases/flight-40 ... t-airlines
 
WaywardMemphian
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Fri Aug 19, 2022 3:41 am

aeromandan wrote:
Anytime I hear about this airport I think about that time Southwest 4013 MDW-BKG landed at the wrong airport in downtown Branson.

https://swamedia.com/releases/flight-40 ... t-airlines


Downtown is a misnomer. It is actually on the south side of Lake Tanycomo it is immediately west of US 65. Google it, lol.
 
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FiscAutTecGarte
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Re: BKG - Branson Missouri Trends

Fri Aug 19, 2022 3:05 pm

in defense of those Pilots.... Branson, population 10k, has 3 airports (Taney County Downtown Airport, Branson West Airport, and Bransonk (BKG) Airport, all within 15 miles of one another

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