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Minden-Tahoe proponents: Aviation center key to drawing tourists

Kurt Hildebrand
Nevada Appeal News Service
Eissmann-Pence Architecture/Courtesy illustration
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MINDEN – An aviation center is being planned at the Minden-Tahoe Airport to serve as the showpiece for Douglas County’s plans to develop the airport’s east side.

“It will help make the airport an eternal attraction,” said proponent Linda Mae Draper-Hivert. “People will come from all over the world and we can have regular regional, national and international events at our airport.”

Draper-Hivert, who is Douglas County’s Economic Vitality champion for the airport, said she hopes Minden-Tahoe could attract an event that would be the equivalent of the Experimental Aviation Association’s AirVenture OshKosh in Oshkosh, Wisc.

“We’re talking about a Western aviation roundup, like the one in Oshkosh, where they have a fly-in once a year. It would be open to classics, antique, home-built and other general aviation aircraft. Oshkosh is a big event, and this would be the perfect spot to have one on the West Coast.”

Soaring will play a big role, since the county plans to move operations to the east side of the airport.

“We’re building up to an international soaring event in 2018,” she said. “This center would be great for the economy. People like to come here.”

Draper-Hivert said Minden’s location away from the more congested portions of the coast and central to both the Southwest and Northwest will make it attractive for events.

The center is being designed by Eissmann-Pence Architecture of Minden to be modular, so that parts can be built as funding becomes available.

It will include exhibits on the history of aviation at Minden-Tahoe and when complete will be large enough to hang a soar plane.

“This is not a stagnant-type museum development,” said Interim Airport Manager Bobbi Thompson. “The hall of fame design of the museum will have interactive displays people will be able to enjoy even if they’ve never flown.”

Thompson said there is a glider event proposed for national soaring championship 2016, when organizers would like to have a ribbon cutting for the center.

It would be built using grants and public donations, Thompson said.

“There is a significant educational component that will let us seek grant money,” she said. “We won’t be using any tax money.”

The center will be designed to be environmentally friendly.

“We have a lot of work to do to make this vision a reality, but everyone involved is excited about our future potential,” Thompson said. “If you look at the success of our recent activities, including the open house, Aviation Education Day and various soaring events, this type of facility would move us in a really positive direction that reflects the rural character and tourism economy of our community.”

Sports Aviation

Destination

Minden Soaring Summit 2011

Soaring Society of American

Annual Conference 2012

National Soaring Championship 2016

World Soaring Championship 2018