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October 28, 2017 06:03 PM

On The Hunt For 10,000 At Watertown Regional

Watertown, SD

The big number these days at Watertown Regional Airport is 10,000.

To receive $1 million from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Watertown Regional Airport needs more people flying out between now and December 31.

"As long as they board in Watertown, then we're going to get credit for it," Watertown city councilman Dan Albertsen said.

To reach that goal, the city is ready to offer incentives. Earlier this week, the city council voted to give $25 to the first 1,000 people who board a flight here between November 1 and November 27.  The money will come from the airport and the city's general fund. The $25 can be spent anywhere that belongs to the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce.

"We're not out trying to spend the citizens of Watertown's money, what we're trying to do is spend $25,000 and receive a million, so it seems like a pretty good payoff," Albertsen said.

For Albertsen, it was an easy vote.

"There was no decision in my mind, that the city is just going to profit immensely by receiving this money," Albertsen said.

Both Albertsen and Airport Manager Todd Syhre think they'll hit the goal. Syhre says they're at around nine thousand now. With two months to draw in the last 1,000 passengers, we asked him what one million dollars would mean for the airport.

"I think we'll hold the ticket prices down, it'll give us a much, a better opportunity to have larger-scale jets flying into Watertown for a decent price," Syhre said.

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