It all started a couple of years ago during a routine flight from Telluride to Hammond. Paul Cutrer and myself were playing “Stump the Monkey” with the Honeywell FMS in a Hawker 1000, when the conversation turned to fuel prices and how one of our clients was paying more for fuel in Hammond than anywhere else they regularly flew. We calculated how much fuel we were collectively burning in aircraft from Hammond under our operational control and speculated that it was enough to support our own fueling operation.
Paul and I flew together a lot after that trip, and we always talked about FBOs. We discussed fuel quality, ramps, suppliers, and every imaginable aspect of customer service at length. There seemed to be a number of people in the airplane fueling business that didn’t know a whole lot about airplanes, and we were a couple of airplane experts who didn’t know much about fuel! We had a lot to learn, and we drew from every resource we could, whenever we could.
We owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to the great folks at Yellowstone Jet Center in Bozeman, Montana, and Miracle Strip Aviation in Destin, Florida. They provided a tremendous amount of technical support and advice that helped make Hammond Air Center possible. They didn’t do it for money; they did it because they are airplane people, and airplane people are cool!
I already had a nice hangar and passenger lounge for my aircraft management business , so we eventually decided that my existing facility could be a very nice FBO if we made major changes to the ramp, parking, and access road. In addition to offering an extremely high level of service to the passengers and aircraft owners (What other FBO can make them a Cappuccino or Martini?!), we wanted our FBO to be a special place for pilots, too. So, we decided to add a really cool pilot’s lounge/sleep room and all kinds of features and amentities that would make our place a “pilot’s place”.