The many riches of Northern Colorado: mountains, skiing, hiking, fishing, beer. Delicious beer. About five years ago, there was one item on the long list of lovable features in Northern Colorado that I absolutely cherished....non-stop flights to Las Vegas. Oh, mercy did I love that. Granted, it was perhaps a long-term blessing that this opportunity left us on that last Allegiant flight out of the Northern Colorado Regional Airport on October 27, 2012. The convenience was addictive. At most, it's a 15 minute drive to the airport, parking was dirt cheap comparative to DIA, and all I had to do was sit down for an hour and a half and, BOOM! I'm in "Viva"! If Allegiant never left, who knows what my bank account and liver would look like now. I guess I should be thankful.

When the announcement was made on August 26th of that year, everybody was floored, including the airport director at that time. "Dumbfounded" would be more accurate as what seemed to be a great thing for Northern Colorado....okay, a great thing for me and Northern Colorado....was suddenly ripped out from underneath us, me. I had heard reports, and I don't know how accurate they were, that just a few weeks before the announcement they had listed Fort Collins/Northern Colorado as one of their most lucrative routes! I had questions! I needed answers!

A comment made by Maurice Gallagher, CEO and Chairman of Allegiant Airline, to a reporter in Las Vegas in September of 2012 was the pull-out in Northern Colorado was due to the lack of a control tower. With all of the small planes flying around, the company and the pilots, along with their union, felt it was unsafe to continue flights out of that airport. It still makes me sad to think about that.

The gloom and despair over this outrage may soon come to an end. It was announced this week that a "virtual control tower" is the future for the Northern Colorado Regional Airport and that they have found a vendor to build it. By "virtual", this means instead of having a tall control tower built on site, they will have a special room designated for monitors, radar, and other air control equipment that will act as their control tower. According to the Coloradoan, when it's completed, it will be the first in the world to provide the "virtual" view. First, last, or somewhere in between, I don't care. JUST GET ME MY VIVA FLIGHTS BACK!

As this process proceeds, including the construction and implementation of this new technology, hopefully we will soon hear of some airlines that could be the ones to ferry my Viva loving heart to and from "Sin City". I would vote for Southwest. Yes, I used to work for them and they are awesome, but I would think it would be advantageous for them due to the populations in Northern Colorado and Cheyenne. However, because I worked for them, I know that Southwest is very selective about which airports they cater to. It has to make a profit or they won't do it. Well, Allegiant made a profit, so they need to talk to them.

I'm excited! This news was a breath of fresh air and it sent chills down my spine. I'm so fired up, I can hear bells in my ears! "DING DING DING DING DING DING". Oh, wait. Those aren't bells. Those are slot machines. I'm good with that. VIVA!

Related stories:

http://tri1025.com/loveland-fort-collins-airport-will-be-first-to-use-virtual-control-tower/
http://k99.com/last-allegiant-flight-out-of-ft-collinsloveland-airport-today/
http://tri1025.com/allegiant-airlines-says-its-leaving-loveland-fort-collins-airport-over-safety-concerns/