Watertown, SD -- The Watertown Airport Board has approved a contract with Rovar LLC to operate a car rental company at the airport under the Avis or Budget franchise, or both. The Watertown operation would make available for rent at the airport between 15 and 40 vehicles depending on initial demand and seasonality. Board members were hopeful any final agreement reached with the city council has minimal impact on local car rental operators. Todd Syhre is the Watertown Airport Manager.
Premiere Auto Rentals of Watertown requested the airport not let a national car rental come in to the community. In a prepared statement Alan Byer told the Airport Board there were already two car rental companies in Watertown who have been servicing the area, including the airport for many years. He said his company has been in business for fifteen years and Lake City Motors for twenty. Byer said three airlines have, "gone down" in the community leaving them with cancellations and expense. He said if a national rental comes to Watertown they will start eliminating their fleet because it's too costly to leave them sitting while paying for insurance and license plates.
On another topic Syhre said he was informed the airport did not receive any of the Federal government’s 2018 supplemental airport dollars this year to help with the construction of a new terminal. However, he’s confident the requested appropriation amounting to 14 million dollars may still be awarded to Watertown this year.
He also commented on the new flights to Chicago that begin in September.
The rental agreement will have to be finalized by the City Council. As part of the arrangement Rovar will collect a 7 percent customer fee that would pass through the Watertown Airport.