At this month’s meeting of the Board of Directors for the Big Bear Airport District, Directors authorized the purchase of a smaller plow—and already airport maintenance staff is putting the new plow, approved for purchase on December 2, to good use. As this plow is smaller, it allows for snow removal in tight quarters, such as the terminal parking lot and airplane hangars. The Airport District’s meeting also included the auditor’s report for fiscal year 2008/2009 and, per Airport General Manager Pete Gwaltney, “We received a low-risk rating, which is the best that the auditor can give.”
Profit and loss statements for the Wings Over Big Bear Air Fair, which drew the Valley’s biggest number of paying attendees for a single event—over 7,000 at $1 apiece—were also reviewed. All told, Gwaltney tells KBHR, “It was very successful, and we came in under budget, which was in part due to some airplanes that had committed but did not come, so we didn’t have to pay them or pay for their fuel—that, as well as being good stewards of the public’s money.” Of those 7,000 plus who did attend the August Air Fair, the Big Bear Valley Event Resource Office’s survey teams did interview a sampling of attendees. Of those interviewed, over half said that, while in Big Bear for the Air Fair, they would also be shopping during their stay. This profile sampling also indicated that over 23 percent did or intended to eat in local restaurants at least once; over 38 percent would be eating two restaurant meals during their stay; 19 percent anticipated three trips to local restaurants. Of those surveyed, over 74 percent indicated that they would “definitely” or “probably” return for the next Wings Over Big Bear Air Fair—so local merchants and restaurants can look forward to these visitors, the majority of them in the affluent income categories, in August 2011.