Grand Glaize ASN volunteer James
Morris and wife Carolyn with Boyer.
It's an annual tradition - the AOPA sweepstakes aircraft and AOPA President Phil Boyer make a guest appearance before the aircraft owners group. So this weekend, the Win a Six in '06 Cherokee Six was the centerpiece for the 2006 Cherokee National Fly-In and Convention in Osage Beach in the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks region of Missouri, and Boyer was the keynote speaker.
And while the 200 pilots, spouses, and guests enjoyed hearing Boyer and dreaming about upgrading their Cherokees with some of the mods adorning the Win a Six, the biggest impression may have been on Osage Beach Mayor Penny Lyons.
Osage Beach is blessed with two airports: Lee C. Fine Airport, located about a 25-minute drive from the city and well suited to corporate aircraft, and Grand Glaize-Osage Beach Airport, with a 3,000-foot runway right in the heart of downtown and on the beachfront. Grand Glaize is an ideal airport for Lake of the Ozarks visitors flying smaller general aviation aircraft.
But that location also makes the airport property very attractive for other development, and some community leaders are questioning the value of keeping the airport.
For that very reason, Grand Glaize Airport Support Network volunteer James Morris made sure that Mayor Lyons was at the airport to meet Boyer. As the mayor admired the Win a Six, Boyer reminded her of the value of a community airstrip and the kind of economic support an event like the Cherokee Fly-In brings to her town.
He noted that more people are buying property in the area for a year-round second home or even primary residence and that Grand Glaize Airport is important to many of these new and potential residents because it provides a convenient and efficient transportation link between their two homes.
"I think we made an impression on Mayor Lyons," said Boyer, "because even though she isn't a pilot, she offered to join AOPA for a chance to win the Six!" ( Sweepstakes rules require that the winner of the sweepstakes drawing, or a member of the winner's immediate family, must be a pilot or student pilot to actually win the aircraft.)
June 19, 2006