CHEYENNE (WNE) — After filing for bankruptcy in May, the Hertz rental car company will close its location at the Cheyenne Regional Airport, as well as locations in Laramie and Riverton.

With Hertz closing in Cheyenne on Jan. 7, that leaves Avis as the only car rental available at the airport. Still, Airport Director Tim Barth remained cautiously optimistic about Avis’ ability to endure the COVID-19 crisis while keeping CRA’s car rental shop open.

Unfortunately for Cheyenne, Barth said small airports will be the ones hit the hardest by COVID-19-related bankruptcies and closures.

“The thing that is so disappointing for us is even though we’re still in COVID, we started the passenger service up again, and our numbers are actually increasing. From a flying perspective, we’re pretty happy with it,” Barth said. “But now we’ve got no rental cars. So just when we’re finally seeing a positive, another negative comes in.”

At first, Hertz attempted to restructure its operations to save the company, but those efforts haven’t been enough. The Florida-based company laid off or furloughed 25% of its workforce in March and liquidated almost 200,000 rental cars in August in a deal with lenders.

The company originally offered to extend its lease at CRA for five months, during which time the airport wouldn’t receive rent payments, just commissions. Barth said the company needed to decide to stick with bankruptcy reorganization or go a different route by Dec. 21, and on Monday, CRA was notified they’d stop service completely instead of trying to hold out.

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