Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dale Steenbergen says air service is important to economic development efforts in Cheyenne.

Cheyenne-based Great Lakes Airlines announced on Monday night that they were canceling commercial air service, leaving Cheyenne Regional Airport without airline service.

Steenbergen said Tuesday, "the problem for us is that every day we get a little farther away from DIA [Denver International Airport]." He explained that traffic is increasing on Interstate 25, slowing travel between Cheyenne and the nearest large airport.

Steenbergen said for companies considering locating to Cheyenne ''certainly the availability of air service is important." He goes on to says the chamber has been working to improve not just air service, but overall transportation between Cheyenne and Denver.

He says those efforts include a partnership with other Front Range communities working towards a rail project as well as partnering with communities in Colorado to find money for improvements to Interstate 25.

''Transportation is going to be a big key to our future, and we better be looking at and working on all forms," Steenbergen said.

He also said he doesn't think the failure of Great Lakes will deter another airline from serving Cheyenne. ''Great Lakes served far more than just Cheyenne. We aren't the only reason or even the primary reason that they struggled."

But he went on to say that maintaining air service in Cheyenne has always been a challenge, adding "We are going to have to work very hard to provide air service in the future."

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