Ketchum, Hailey voters OK taxes to lure air service

Residents in Ketchum and Hailey have decided to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.

The decision green lights a 1 percent sales tax on lodging and rental cars. Ketchum also will add a 1 percent retail sales tax that won’t include groceries and gas.

Money from the tax increases will go to entice airlines to serve the Wood River Valley’s airport either through subsidies or advertising support.

Eric Seder chairs the board of the marketing non-profit Fly Sun Valley Alliance. He says every airline he’s approached lately wants a contract guaranteeing the profitability of the route. Seattle-based Alaska and Horizon Airlines received revenue guarantees from three ski destinations it serves: Sun Valley, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., and Steamboat Springs, Colo.