The Big Bear City Airport has a positive effect on Big Bear Valley economy. That’s the overall finding on an economic impact study done by Sixel Consulting Group for the Big Bear Airport District. On Aug. 27, the district released the study for public review during a presentation at the Big Bear City Airport board room.
“It’s important to understand the economic impact the airport has on the Valley,” said Gary Steube, board president. “We will be able to use the data from the study from both a strategic and an economic standpoint.”
According to airport general manager Pete Gwaltney, the airport district is focusing on ways to contribute to the community. The first step, he said, was to see what has been done. That was the reason the board approved the study.
“We do our best to be part of the community both the aviation community and residential community,” Gwaltney said. “We want to be good neighbors.” Steube said the study found that the airport had an estimated 1,473 visitors in 2013 with nearly 30,000 aircraft movements. The airport has also been an attraction for many to move to Big Bear and become full-time residents, Steube said. Big Bear Lake mayor Jay Obernolte, who was at the presentation, is one example of someone who chose to live and bring his business to Big Bear, in part because of the airport, Steube said.
See the Sept. 3 issue of The Grizzly for a complete review of the Big Bear City Airport economic impact study.