Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New service to Atlantic City begins

PLATTSBURGH — A new flight service to Atlantic City began Wednesday from Plattsburgh International Airport, and county officials are confident it will fill a need.

"Anything we can get in here will help because people want to go places, and the more opportunities we can provide, the better it will be for the airport," Clinton County Legislature Chairman Sam Dyer (R-Area 3, Beekmantown) said at a news conference.


Dyer and others were on hand to see off the first flight to Atlantic City chartered by Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City.

The 90-passenger jet was full as it took off at about 10:30 a.m.

Caesars Entertainment is offering a non-stop-flight package that includes round-trip airfare, a three-night stay at Harrah's Resort, two passes to the Waterfront Buffet and airport transfers starting at $299 per person.

"It's pretty much all inclusive wrapped up with a nice ribbon on it," said Kristy Kennedy, vice president of marketing at the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce.


The chamber has been working to attract more specialty flights to the airport since Allegiant Air announced earlier this year that it would stop direct flights to Las Vegas from Plattsburgh at the end of March.

Kennedy said the chamber has received many inquires about the Atlantic City flight since it was announced this month.

"The response has been overwhelming," she said.

"There was a lot of interest from the Montreal market, and we are very excited to have this service starting."


Caesars Entertainment will offer the Atlantic City package once a month for May, June, July and August.

The next trip is planned for May 10 to 12, and the one after is slated for June 9 to 12. Details for the July and August trips are still in the works.

"Hopefully, this will become a regular flight," Kennedy said.

"We think the demand is there."


Although Caesars officials were not on hand at the airport Wednesday, they issued a statement touting the service.

"In this extremely competitive marketplace, it is essential that we as an entertainment and hospitality company align ourselves with outstanding partners such as Plattsburgh International Airport," Scott Barber, regional president of Caesars Entertainment's Mid-South Division, said.

"It is our end-all-be-all goal to elevate the guest experience in our customer-first industry, so it is with that ideal in mind that we set forth and offer the general public flights to and from a coastal destination as magnificent as Atlantic City."

Plattsburgh resident Bob Blanchard, a frequent visitor to Atlantic City, showed up at the airport to learn more about the flight.

"This is great not only for people from Montreal but for local people too," Blanchard, 61, said.

"I think it's perfect."


Airport Manager Chris Kreig said when the Las Vegas route ended, he sensed there would be interest in an Atlantic City flight.

"I asked people if they would be interested in it, and we got a lot of positive feedback," he said.

Atlantic City will be a popular flight, Kreig said, because the destination offers a lot for passengers.

"They don't just have to go to a casino; they can go to shows, eat at nice restaurants, travel to Philadelphia if they want, and there is a lot of entertainment there.

"This is what we wanted to do — provide more opportunities for the community and the region."