No sitting in traffic when flying to the mountains

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DENVER -- If you’re tired of being stuck in mountain traffic on Interstate 70 for hours at a time, there’s now a way to avoid it. Denver-based aviation company FreshJets is offering flights to some of Colorado’s most popular mountain towns, a mile high alternative to sitting in traffic.

Customers who subscribe to the service pay a $1,500 initiation fee and $1,000 a month membership. That entitles them to unlimited flights between Centennial (and soon Broomfield) to Aspen, Telluride and Vail.

FreshJets is also hoping to expand its service to Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte in the near future.

The company’s CEO, Timmy Wozniak, said he saw a niche in the market that wasn’t being served.

“There’s really no red tape surrounding it. An hour flight and you’re there. You can fly as many times as you want. You can make up to two reservations at a time,” he said.

The service launched in September and already 46 people have subscribed. Jonathan Harris, an executive at GoPro, is one of them.

“Basically, I’ll be on this thing every week going back and forth,” said Harris, who has a second home in Telluride.

It’s a home he says he’d rarely visit if it weren’t for Fresh Jets.

“It’s hard to get to. The best places in life are always hard to get to,” he said.

The flight to Telluride takes just 45 minutes. By car it's 6 1/2 hours.

“You can actually ski Monday morning, hop on the plane, and be back in San Francisco by dinner,” Harris said.

The majority of FreshJets customers are like Harris. Most are second-home owners or business executives looking for a faster way to get around the state.

Tourism officials also hope the service lures more Denverites to mountain towns such as Aspen and Telluride that often miss out on Denver ski traffic.

“When we’re on one side of the state and Denver’s solidly in the middle, you have to drive by every other ski resort to get there,” said Matt Skinner with the Colorado Flights Alliance. “For the locals, it’s imperative.”

Harold Maloy is the general manager of Brown Dog Pizza in Telluride. He said customers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the service. It’s also helping his business expand.

“One of the owners is opening a new restaurant in Denver and he can go back and forth now,” he said.

“The perception that it’s actually hard to get to Telluride for the rest of the country is a 30-year-old myth that we’re dispelling pretty quickly,” Skinner said.

It’s a way to visit some of Colorado’s most breathtaking ski towns, without wasting valuable time trying to get there.

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