Some passengers heading to the Wichita Falls Regional Airport are taking to the skies, not to go to Dallas but for a casino getaway.
Airport officials say they’ve seen a recent spike in those types of trips which has had some very positive effects on the city’s balance sheet as well as overall exposure for the airport.
Several flights come and go daily at the regional airport. Inside the lobby is where we spoke to Alisha Croker and Diane Hays- two good friend boarding a flight, hoping to bring home the jackpot.
“We’re going to Laughlin, Nevada for a gambling trip,” Croker said. “They’re so much fun, it’s great.”
Casino charter flights made their mark at the local airport back in 2015, with two carriers going to Laughlin and Wendover, Nevada. A third carrier was added to the list just six months ago.
“So far, we have seen an increase as far as passengers coming in for those flights.” Airport operations supervisor Cortney Schaefer says they are flights that give the airport terminal more exposure, even making the city money.
Schaefer says the airport would pocket $42,000 to $50,000 thousand dollars a year.
“We want more people flowing in and out of our wonderful airport here,” Schaefer said. But it also brings in revenue for our city and it brings another destination for the citizens of this community here and those surrounding us, to other locations for vactions.”
Schaefer says some have even made the drive from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to board the Wichita Falls flight. Being an even bigger convenience for locals like Croker and Hays.
“It’s just a quick vacation getaway and without having to, you know, mess with the traffic of Dallas and DFW,” Croker said.
As long as the charters keep coming, travelers say they are betting on more trips out west very soon.
On average, the regional airport operates casino charter flights at least once a month.
For more information on the flights, click here.