It’s no exaggeration to say that Telluride loves Phoenix, our sunny and warm southern neighbor. During the winter, Telluride is the closest major ski destination for “Phoenicians” and in the summer our 75-degree, sunny days with cool, crisp evenings provide a convenient respite from the desert southwest.
For years, Phoenix has been one of our core travel hubs and most important destinations. And, just like with any good relationship, it takes work. That’s where Matt Skinner comes in—as the Chief Operating Officer of the Colorado Flights organization, he has worked with American Airlines tirelessly towards daily flights from Phoenix year-round, summer and winter. “For Phoenix, Telluride has always been a go-to resort. Phoenicians are loyal to Telluride and we want to make sure they have as many flight options from Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) as possible,” says Skinner. “Daily flights, year-round, are the priority.”
Skinner adds that Telluride has three core flight hubs: Phoenix and Dallas with American Airlines, and Denver with United Airlines. From those focal points, travelers can reach other destinations through the airlines’ broader networks, but having flight frequency to/from these zones is crucial. The Colorado Flights team works with the airlines, crunches the numbers, looks at the map, and makes sure that visitors have the most direct access possible. “Our strategy is to grow our frequency, and we layer the destinations over that base. It’s a little like a puzzle, it all interlocks and fits together.”
This bond between Telluride and Phoenix is a two-way street—residents from the western slope of Colorado love being able to connect to Phoenix and make a quick hop to other destinations every bit as much as people love the convenience when traveling here. “The direct flights are a breeze—an hour and a half, and you’re there.” Skinner has been living in Telluride for more than a decade, and now that he has two young children, he understands how important it is to get from Point A to Point B in the most direct, hassle-free way possible. “We are constantly working to offer more convenience to the region’s visitors. Traveling with kids has made me acutely aware of how important connectivity is,” says Skinner, laughing. “They’re good travelers, but it can still be total mayhem.”
Not only is the new daily service a benefit for visitors and second home owners from Arizona, but PHX now serves as a year-round hub for guest traveling from California offering travelers from San Diego (SAN), Los Angeles (LAX), Orange County (SNA), and San Francisco (SFO) an easy connection to MTJ.
In addition to the daily air service between Phoenix (PHX) and Montrose-Telluride (MTJ), American Airlines also offers three flights per day to both Durango-La Plata Regional Airport (DRO) and Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT). These seven options from Phoenix to the western slope of Colorado allow families additional flexibility in the event their plans change or they wish to extend their stay.
The combination of these flights also allow larger groups from Arizona and southern California an opportunity to host meetings, events and conferences in Telluride. To learn more about flights from Phoenix and to book your trip to Telluride, visit our trip planning guide and our summer flights page .