Flight decisions force longtime resident to move


The cost is $69 compared to $600. That’s the difference between flying to Salt Lake on Boutique Air and flying to Salt Lake with the current airline chosen by our airport board a few years ago.

letter airport

Shortly after retiring to Moab 16 years ago, I developed some conditions that required me to seek specialty care. We came to rely on Boutique Air to get me to my doctors’ appointments in Salt Lake. I could even go up and back on the same day!

Then the decision was made to get rid of Boutique Air. The Airport Board website said that the public was welcome to attend their meetings and give input. So I attended the next scheduled meeting where I thought I would be allowed to talk. I sat there for at least an hour until I was told to wait until the meeting was over to speak with Mr. Hill. It was a fruitless evening.

I now understand that the city benefits financially by moving more people into Moab. So the only Moabites considered in the decision were those in the tourist industry. The locals who used air travel out of necessity or convenience were not considered. And, yes, since the removal of Boutique Air, we have been driving back and forth to Salt Lake at least every three months. The travel has become too onerous for us to remain in Moab.

I’m afraid most of us are forgetting what’s important in this life. Money is important, but not the most important. But then most of you know this. Living in Moab and keeping it and its surroundings eminently livable and as pristine as possible should be our priority.

However, with the encouragement of more tourists, some with three or four off-road vehicles, we erode the livability of our place while making a killing financially.

When we move back to SLC and pass the airport for (potentially) the last time, I will think of Boutique Air, the indescribable red rocks of Moab that brought me here, and the friends I have made. While things must progress, it is still sad to know that the city I will be leaving is far from the city I so happily moved to years ago. A city that at one time put the locals first yet still somehow managed to be successful.

– Ann M. Martin