Saturday, 31 May 2008
Elvis gets Las Vegas flight off ground
May 31, 2008
MONTEREY - Although no gambling was to be found, Monterey Peninsula Airport did have a slight air of Las Vegas on Friday.
The occasion? A celebration of Allegiant Air's inaugural flight from Monterey to the casino oasis.
The airline now has three weekly flights leaving Monterey, with jets carrying up to 150 passengers. Flights are at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
An Elvis impersonator and Las Vegas show girl - decked in sequins, rhinestones and glitter - helped round out the casino feel.
The sold-out flight included Marilyn Sullivan of Carmel, who's normally driven to San Jose to fly to Las Vegas.
"I love it," said Sullivan, who was traveling with Judi Marotta of Monterey for the weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday.
She said she decided to try the newly added airline because of the flight's cheap tickets and added convenience.
Added Marotta, "This is in our backyards."
Sabrina LoPiccolo, Allegiant's public relations coordinator, said the airline came to Monterey because it identified an unmet need in passenger travel.
"We've had a great welcome by the community," LoPiccolo said.
Thomas Greer, general manager for the Monterey Peninsula Airport District, predicted the new airline will increase traffic through the airport by 65 percent, considering that Las Vegas is a major travel destination for local residents.
"The community has been asking for this," Greer said.
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