October 17, 2007

455,000 DOT Grant for Small Airports

I remember when we got this grant three years ago, after failing the two previous years. Due mainly to Congressman McGovern's efforts we received 455,000 to help recruit an retain commercial service. The grant itself was paid out via a reimbursement at a rate of 72.73% limited to a three year period. In other words if ORH submitted $100,000 of qualified bills for recruiting or retaining an airline, the DOT would reimburse the ORH $72,730.

I also remember a group of meeting with Mayor Murray coming up with various ideas as to how we could spend these monies to bring commercial service to ORH. In fact, Mayor Murray mentioned that he may recommend a Blue Ribbon Committee to work on this. In the end, it was decided it was best for the airport itself to handle this.

Over the past three years I have requested these reimbursement reports and have been trying to keep track of how the monies have been spent (note yesterday's e-mail). Per the September Airport Commission Board minutes, the three years have ended. Best I can tell we only received reimbursements of 170,000 over the three year period and in essence left 285,000 on the table.

Maybe if we had invested these monies in free parking and Allegiant Airlines, they would would never have left ORH and right now there would be direct service to three cities in Florida from ORH.


Anonymous said...

I read the September minutes and hopefully saw some positives in the possible infusion of an additional Cessa dealership/flight school and an FBO with additional hangar space. If it becomes a reality, it could ignite a spark for other new investments and maybe eventually even commercial aviation to take another chance on Worcester.

Bill Randell said...


You are referring to Winward, who was the lone bidder on the parcel of land earlier this year. They have not committed to buying but have tied up the property for 6 mos with an option to buy.

They must want to see what is going to happen on January 1st. If MassPort takes over, I see them most likely exercising the option. If MassPort does not, I do not see them doing it.

My problem with this was that the RFP did not give this as an option up front. Maybe if others had known that they would be able to delay their decision till after January 1st, maybe more people would have bid?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you titled this "455,000 DOT Grant for Small Airplanes".

The "Small Airplanes" you write about have certainly not benefited from this grant.

Maybe you should call this "455,000 DOT Grant AGAINST small Airplanes"

Anonymous said...

Allegiant update, if anyone cares...

Former MGM Grand Resorts President Named to Allegiant Travel Company Board of Directors
Thursday October 18, 11:00 am ET

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Reflecting the company's continued emphasis on its hotel product, Allegiant Travel Company (Nasdaq: ALGT - News) today announced former MGM Grand Resorts president and chief executive officer John Redmond has been elected to the Company's board of directors.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060516/LATU102LOGO)

"We're honored to have Mr. Redmond join our board," Maurice J. Gallagher, president and chief executive officer for Allegiant Travel Company, said. "His extensive background in the hotel and casino industries will bring a new dynamic and added strength to our board."

"I am pleased with the opportunity to join Allegiant's board of directors," Redmond remarked. "Allegiant has developed a solid business strategy which I believe has well-positioned the company to achieve long-term, profitable growth. I look forward to working with the company and contributing to its progress."

Redmond most recently served as president and chief executive officer of MGM Grand Resorts, LLC, and was a member of the board of directors for its parent company MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM - News). Prior to his retirement from the company in August 2007, Redmond held various leadership positions at MGM MIRAGE including co-chief executive officer of MGM MIRAGE, chief operating officer of The Primadonna Company, senior vice president of MGM Grand Development, Inc. and chairman of the board and director of MGM Grand Detroit, LLC. Prior to 1996, Redmond was senior vice president and chief financial officer of Caesars Palace and Desert Inn hotel-casinos.

Harry Tembenis
Worcester, MA

Bill Randell said...


Why couldn't we get an airline like this at ORH?


Anonymous said...

I read the minutes differently. Winward is different from Cessna. That's a great plane. I have flown them quite a bit. It would be great to have them at the airport.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean there are actually two bids now for the land parcels ?