Helicopter company seeks hangar preference

— John Witte of Zephyr Helicopters was at Steamboat Springs Airport Monday preparing to help look for a 25-year-old woman who got lost while snowboarding.

The woman was found two ridges away from the Tomahawk ski run before Witte's helicopter was needed.

Still airport manager Matt Grow is glad Zephyr Helicopters is around for such emergencies.

Zephyr Helicopters is used three or four times a month as part of Routt County Search and Rescue. Witte was instrumental in finding three survivors from a plane crash early in January.

At tonight's City Council meeting, Grow will ask the council to give the company preference for a three-year, hangar lease agreement.

Zephyr Helicopters has been renting its hangar space from Herb Lamee, who will cancel his lease with the city on Saturday. In most cases, the empty hangar space would go to the first person on the lengthy waiting list. Zephyr is No. 41 on the list.

"Basically if we had gone to the general public, Zephyr would be out on the streets," Grow said.

Without hangar space, Witte said it could be hard for Zephyr Helicopters to respond to an emergency in the event of heavy snow or ice.

Created in 1998, the hangar wait list policy allows for the airport manager to alter, waive or modify the hangar policy "to accommodate special instances" with approval from the city manager or council.

The city rents one hangar with 10 bays. Grow said it is competitive to get a space in the city rented hangars, which are rented on a monthly basis. And just last week, Grow has had 10 inquiries about leasing short-term hangar space.

Grow said Zephyr ranks sixth in the amount of fuel used at the airport.

"Commercial tenants use the airport the most and we want to be able to accommodate them the most," Grow said.

Zephyr is one of three aviation businesses housed at the airport.

In 2002, Zephyr purchased 2,470 gallons of fuel from the airport.

The airport has plans to add 16 more hangars with Dunn Properties, which has a 40-year lease agreement with the city.

Grow said nine of the hangars, mostly the larger ones, are already pre-sold.

In November, the city revised its agreement with Dunn Properties, which has had trouble preselling its original plan for 10 larger hangars.


The woman was found two ridges away from the Tomahawk ski run before Witte's helicopter was needed.

Still airport manager Matt Grow is glad Zephyr Helicopters is around for such emergencies.

Zephyr Helicopters is used three or four times a month as part of Routt County Search and Rescue. Witte was instrumental in finding three survivors from a plane crash early in January.

At tonight's City Council meeting, Grow will ask the council to give the company preference for a three-year, hangar lease agreement.

Zephyr Helicopters has been renting its hangar space from Herb Lamee, who will cancel his lease with the city on Saturday. In most cases, the empty hangar space would go to the first person on the lengthy waiting list. Zephyr is No. 41 on the list.

"Basically if we had gone to the general public, Zephyr would be out on the streets," Grow said.

Without hangar space, Witte said it could be hard for Zephyr Helicopters to respond to an emergency in the event of heavy snow or ice.

Created in 1998, the hangar wait list policy allows for the airport manager to alter, waive or modify the hangar policy "to accommodate special instances" with approval from the city manager or council.

The city rents one hangar with 10 bays. Grow said it is competitive to get a space in the city rented hangars, which are rented on a monthly basis. And just last week, Grow has had 10 inquiries about leasing short-term hangar space.

Grow said Zephyr ranks sixth in the amount of fuel used at the airport.

"Commercial tenants use the airport the most and we want to be able to accommodate them the most," Grow said.

Zephyr is one of three aviation businesses housed at the airport.

In 2002, Zephyr purchased 2,470 gallons of fuel from the airport.

The airport has plans to add 16 more hangars with Dunn Properties, which has a 40-year lease agreement with the city.

Grow said nine of the hangars, mostly the larger ones, are already pre-sold.

In November, the city revised its agreement with Dunn Properties, which has had trouble preselling its original plan for 10 larger hangars.

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