Pine trees to palm trees
Reno officials on Aug. 15 welcomed Jet Blue’s inaugural flight linking Reno to Long Beach with non-stop daily service.
In a celebration on the tarmac at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the Damonte Ranch High School marching band and cheer team performed for dignitaries waiting for the flight as the Jet Blue Airbus 320 landed and unloaded.
“Thanks to Jet Blue we now have a new destination to add to our list of cities that we serve,” Marily Mora, president and CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority said in welcoming comments.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve noted the “Incredible opportunity where we’re bringing palm trees and pine trees together.”
Rick Murdoch, board chairman for the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, noted that the airport generates about $2 billion into the local economy from planes landing and taking off.
“We know how important this is to Reno-Tahoe and we’re not just Reno, we’re Reno-Tahoe,” said Murdoch, who is also the vice president of sales and marketing for Eldorado Resort Casino. “We’re all on one team growing the right way. When Jet Blue came to Reno and they made New York happen, they said ‘if you guys do well with us and be good partner with us we’ll give you another (city connection), we’ll give you Long Beach.’ So obviously Reno-Tahoe has stepped up and Jet Blue has stepped up.”
Rex Richardson, vice-mayor of Long Beach, and Steve Goodling, president and CEO of the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, spoke on behalf of the Long Beach officials.
“I know that it will be a great reciprocal relationship,” Goodling said. “I know our residents love to come here but also (Reno residents are invited to enjoy) the beach, palm trees, water, and ocean; that’s what we have to offer.”
Tom Bert, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Jet Blue, commended the Reno-area residents for their support of Jet Blue’s flights to New York and the excitement about adding the Reno-Long Beach connection.
“I’ve got to tell you, this has been a dream of mine personally and I know it’s been a dream of many crew members in Jet Blue to fly Reno-Long Beach, so I am honored to be here to watch this happen.”
JetBlue will fly the route between Reno-Tahoe International Airport and Long Beach with a 150-seat Airbus 320. The daily flights depart Long Beach at 12:15 p.m. and land in Reno at 1:30 p.m. with the return flight departing Reno at 2:15 p.m. and arriving in Long Beach at 3:40 p.m.
To inaugurate the new service, JetBlue is offering a one-way $59 fare until March 24 that they call their “Silver Lining” in honor of Nevada history. The $59 is historically symbolic because it honors the famous Comstock Lode of silver that was discovered in northern Nevada in 1859.
WNC and Nevada-based nonprofit greenUP! are working to launch a statewide green business program and to create a database for collecting outcomes that measure environmental performance for the state.