November 29, 2007

Are Alternative Airports Worth the Drive

Great story in USA today earlier this month, click here. Worcester got mentioned:


Main airport: Logan: Close in, good public transportation, easy cab access to centers.

  • Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Manchester, New Hampshire: 58 miles from central Boston, free shuttle to Boston every 3 hours, 15 minutes; too far for cabs; closest Boston airport for Southwest, also other airlines. Use it mainly for Southwest.

    T.F. Green Airport, Warwick, Rhode Island: 59 miles from central Boston; poor public transportation (Amtrak/MBTA airport station under construction); too far for cabs. Boston option for Southwest, also other airlines. Use it mainly for Southwest.

    Pease International Airport, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: 67 miles from Boston. Poor public transportation; too far for cabs; the Boston airport for Skybus, with a history of on-and-off service from other low far lines. Use it only for Skybus.

    Worcester Regional Airport, Worcester Massachusetts: 48 miles from central Boston. Off-and-on history of airline service; currently "off."

November 28, 2007

Stewart Airport

Stewart Airport expects to triple their passenger count this year is expected to exceed 900,000 passengers. My point is that there is a market for secondary airports as shown by Rockford and Stewart, if the airport is run efficiently.

November 27, 2007


From our friend Tom Bona at the Rockford Register, for the full story click here.

"The airport has seen 177,696 passengers through October. Last year, the airport totaled 172,200 passengers for the whole year."

Keep in mind that this airport faces many of the same challenges as ORH being a secondary airport within an hour of a major airport (Chicago) and also had no passenger service after 9/11. They, however, have been able to succeed and should be the example that we follow.

November 26, 2007


I downloaded this from an area airport website, would you have guessed it was from the Southern Vermont Regional Airport (Rutland, Vt)? Why hire a consultant, the blue print for a successful secondary airport has already been laid out by the other airports like Rockford and Rutland:

  1. Multiple daily commuter flights to nearby larger airports (Chicago, Boston, etc) where you can then connect direct to anywhere else. If you can not get an airline to do that, get a smaller airline (Cape Air) who can then negotiate a code sharing agreement with a larger airline.
  2. Direct leisure flights a couple times per week to populkar destinations like Vegas, Myrtle Beach and Florida.
  3. Charter business to international vacation spots.
  4. Free parking
  5. Free airport wifi

"Sometimes, you need to do business face to face. Now, businesspeople can meet in Boston and be back in Rutland the same day. And you can connect to points worldwide from Logan International. Take advantage of business-friendly schedules to save time. And with direct access to downtown Boston via rapid transit, you won’t need a car. (Leave it in the free parking lot in Rutland.)

Less time. More convenience. Exciting destinations. What other reasons do you need?"

November 24, 2007

Rutland, Vermont

Has better air service, a web site and free parking. No offense to anyone from Rutland but this airport was not even considered in the New Regional Air Study Plan and they look and perform much better then ORH.

Rutland, VT Lands Cape Air to Boston

This is starting to get ridiculous. Here is the story. Already Cape Air is flying to Boston from Hyannis, P-town, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket with a code sharing agreement with JetBlue and now you can addd Rutland, Vermont. From the Rutlaqnd Herald

" Cape Air's ( roundtrip fare to Boston with a 14-day advance reservation is $95. It also has more flights — three roundtrips a day or 21 flights a week"

We can not, however, get Cape Air to come to ORH??? Lets hope Mr Nemeth has a story about ORH tomorrow.

October Board Minutes

Not on-line yet. Evidently there was no board meeting in October?

November 22, 2007

Hanover TIF

We all know the damage that has been done to our commercial tax base, by our dual tax rate system. At the same time there is no way in hell that we will be able change back to a single tax rate overnight in the City of Worcester. This begs the question, how do we re-envigorate the commercial tax base.

Target areas and/or specific buildings for commercial development while offering:

  • waive all permitting fees
  • waive all water and sewer hook-ups
  • freeze assesed valuess for 10 years

If the City of Worcester did this, developers would be attracted to the City of Worcester, increase the commercial tax base and bring us closer to the day where we will again have one tax rate.

November 21, 2007

Allegiant Expands In Bangor, Maine

Please note link to a story that Allegiant will be adding a weekly flight for Spring Break from Bangor to Sanford. Can not help but remember the excuse Allegiant left ORH because their planes were inefficient on fuel and could not make monies from ORH-Sanford.

Looks like Allegiant must be doing well here and the flight has to be, at least, 200 miles longer each way?

November 20, 2007

Hanover Theatre

There is a story about it in today's paper. In essence the owners of the Hanover Theatre are locked in at the current assessed value for seven years. They will not have to pay property taxes on the increased value on the property for seven years.

John Mahoney ran for City Council and this was the same exact idea that he proposed, except he proposed ten years similar to what has been done in Philadelphia, not 7 years. The City of Philadelphia realized that their residential tax base was leaving its downtown, so they proposed a freezing of the current assessed value of any building that was convered to residential for 10 years. The results have been startling and the City of Philadelphia has proposed a similar concept for their downtown.

The City of Worcester should target undeveloped commercial areas and buildings as being elgible for a ten year freeze of the assessed value while waiving of all permitting fees, like they have done for the Hanover Theatre. Unlike Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, who are looking for residential units, we should propose commercial taxable development in order to be eligible for these tax breaks.

Ideas like this would truly build back our commercial tax base. My only problem with this TIF, however, is that it is being applied for post development. These breaks should be given up front and give all developers the same opportunities in the City of Worcester.

November 19, 2007

The Blog

I have alot of fun with this blog. I get a chance to vent some of my ideas and frustrations as I run my businesses making a living in Worcester. Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting.

Every once in a while something happens and everything gets put into perspective. Today my thoughts and prayers are with Harry Tembenis and his family.

November 17, 2007

Saudi Prince

Think we have all read the story about a Saudi Prince, who has order an Airbus A380 with an estimated cost of $320,000,000!!! Here is the story.

My point being that if we actually put the airport our "For Sale" or "For Lease" and did and actually marketed it, we could fine someone who would be interested in our airport.

November 16, 2007

October Board Minutes

Not posted yet.

November 14, 2007

Commons Project

Compare there two projects that started at approximatley the same time:

Westboro Bay State Commons


Worcester City Square

One boasts of employment opportunities, while the other announces a new real estate agent to market space.

November 13, 2007

Bet is lost

Jahn and Tim, it looks like I owe you $20. City Manager just said he does not see the negotiations being done by the end of the year and that there will be another extension on December 31st. Not more takers on my bet allowed.

The City Manager, however, said that the current negotiations will still be towards the operating deficit being covered 100% retro-active to July1st, 2007. He also indicated that the long-term deal would transition ownership to MassPort, so it appears to be a lease to own agreement, more then a lease, as milestones are achieved.

  • Debt service would still be ours, until ownership is transferred.

Cape Air

For three years we have talked about a shuttle to a hub, either Boston, LaGuardia, from which you can then get a direct flight around the country. Since that time we have seen Cape Air do this exact thing with code sharing agreement with JetBlue from:

  1. Hyannis
  2. P-town
  3. Martha's Vineyard
  4. Nantucket

Now I read in the Courier Press that Cape Air is doing this from Evansville and South Bend to Indianapolis. How come we can not get Cape Air to come to ORH?

November 11, 2007

Six Month Extension

Today is November 11th and the current six month extension ends December 31st. Lots to get done between then and now. I still feel my $20 bet with Jahn and Tim in safe and ORH will be conveyed to MassPort by then via long-term lease or outright sale at a nominal amount, while MassPort pays the operating deficit and we pay the debt service (600K per year). We should find out by the end of the month.

November 08, 2007

Cape Air

They keep expanding, story from Cape Cod Times:

Will Cape Air spread its wings to Oregon?

As Cape Air launches new routes in Vermont and Indiana this month, the Hyannis-based airline is looking at another possible expansion. Cape Air CEO Dan Wolf has made three trips to Oregon, said the airline’s spokeswoman Michelle Haynes, to discuss potential routes connecting Portland, Ore. to the coastal cities of Astoria and Newport.“It’s a little premature to say anything definitive,” Haynes said, though she added, “It fits our niche perfectly--if it works its something we’d be very interested in doing.”

Cape Air currently provides service between Boston, Providence, the Cape and Islands. The airline also operates routes in Florida, Puerto Rico and Micronesia.
Service in Vermont launched last week and flights are scheduled to begin in Indiana next week.

November 06, 2007


Rockford Airport

I am really getting sick of these guys. From blog favorite journalist Tom Bona from the Rockford Register. Full story, click here:

With two months to spare, Chicago/Rockford International Airport has topped last year’s passenger totals.The airport has seen 177,696 passengers through October. Last year, the airport totaled 172,200 passengers for the whole year.And while the airport has fallen off its record-setting pace, officials say a 28 percent increase in traffic over last year is very impressive in its own right.

Keep in mind Rockford also had no commercial service like ORH in 2001. Now they are up to 177,696 in ten months, while ORH has no commercial service.

November 04, 2007

Nemeth Access Road Story

Not the story I was hoping for, but instead we got the other one. You know the one where he blames us, the City of Worcester, for not providing the"improved highway access." I maintain that if the airport had been running efficiently that people would find ORH and would not need highway access. Lets for a moment accept this excuse.

The main problem was the idea of having an access road off Route 290 utilizing the Hope Ave, later Cambridge Street was considered, were plain stupid ideas and alienated pretty much everyone in Worcester!!!!!! Trying to imagine the cost and time to build these roads is overwhelming. Has anyone been on Goddard lately? I swear it has been 2 maybe 3 years they have been working on these roads.

The most logical option has been, is and will be a new exit off the Mass Pike on to Route 56. The highway here would be quite easy to widen, with the only exception being when you cross Route 9. Leicester, and other surrounding towns, would welcome this idea since it will increase all the property values in their towns overnight. Worcester would not only welcome the idea for better access to ORH, but the lines of cars that cross Worcester (East-West) from points West every morning would utilize this "north south connector" to the new Mass exit.

Click here to access a map:

Best of all you can collect monies to pay for it!!! Can you even imagine how much the land would be worth around ORH if you could access the MassPike from this connector??

Maybe the Master Plan will address this issue, but where is it? How many years has it been that they have been working on the 20 year Master Plan? Honestly it has been over 3 years now!! Maybe IMG ("Infrastructure" Management Group) will look into it?? Maybe the New England Regional Air Study Plan will look into this? No to both. We need to put together 750,000 to 1,000,000 to do another study??? Let me get this straight, none of these consultants (Leigh Fisher, Jacobs, Berger, IMG) have been studying the highway access???

Maybe we should hire a consultant to tell us what are consultants should be working on.

November 02, 2007

Airport Hanger

A guy was just on WTAG and mentioned that one of the hangers, not sure which one, is a mess and no work has been done. More or less the caller said the building shold be condemned. Can anyone tell me more about which hanger he referred to and is that bad??

November 01, 2007

Sunday Nemeth Column

As the election closes in and many people are prognosticating on the election, I wait here patiently for the Nemeth column on the transfer of ORH to MassPort. At this point I could almost write it.

Remember the highlights:

  • long-term lease at a nominal amount
  • MassPort will pay the operating deficit
  • Worcester tax-payers pay the debt service (600,000 per year)
  • starting January 1st

To date only Jahn, aka the Unabomber, has accepted my $20 bet.

Linear Air

It appears Linear will have their first VLJ jet in early November from

Linear Air on Verge of FAA Approval for Very Light Jet Service; Backlog Already Brewing

These micro-jets can operate at close to the same speeds and altitudes as the light business jets flown by charter services, but at less than half the cost. That makes them tailor-made to the needs of an air-taxi service. And any day now, Concord, MA-based Linear Air is expecting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly its first “VLJ.” Expect service to start in early November. But be fast, a backlog is already brewing.

Linear Air’s CEO, Bill Herp, who got his pilot’s license in 1996, has been a “VLJ” fan ever since he first heard about the concept in 2001. At the time Herp was CEO of e-Dialog, a Lexington-based email-marketing-services firm he founded and eventually built up to over 200 employees, and which constantly sent him and fellow executives on nightmarish, prolonged commercial-airline escapades to pitch potential clients.

Herp started playing with the new math of VLJ-enabled flight and decided to build an air-charter business around micro-jets. “E-Dialog was running pretty well, and I saw a window opening for a new approach to air travel,” he says.