Aspen AirportWhat happens when things happen that are out of a marketers control? We can look to Aspen as an example this season because they will be losing at least 20% of the available seats in and out of their airport for the coming 2010-11 Winter Season, according to an article in the Aspen Daily News. The most difficult element of this, is that with both Delta and Frontier dropping service, United will now be the only scheduled commercial airline service to and from Aspen. Once competition disappears, prices almost always increase, sometimes dramatically. How Aspen travelers react to potential fare increases will remain to be seen, but certainly dropping available seats to a ski destination is not a great situation.

My first thought while reading about this is to wonder about how the local destination marketing groups in Aspen could respond. To me, this is a prime example of a situation where social media would be a means to get the word out that there are still a huge number of available seats and to perhaps even work with United to show how many flight options there still are. With this happening mid-summer, there is plenty of time to put together a campaign and still have it up well before winter bookings start to ramp up. What other sorts of things do you think Aspen could be doing to counter this news?

Photo Credit: Flickr user chuck.miser