A fresh start for Jet Ranch | nnbusinessview.com

A fresh start for Jet Ranch

John Seelmeyer

Steve Lewis thinks big events a new freeway, an ongoing shift in demographics and changes at the major airport in Reno will get the Jet Ranch hangar project at Carson City Airport back on track.

But in the short term, Lewis says, the corporate project has an even stronger selling point aviation fuel prices that are more than 15 percent lower than those in Reno.

And he’s hoping that’s enough to get the attention of even the wealthiest owner of a private jet.

Jet fuel was selling for $5.25 a gallon at Carson City Airport last week, compared with $6.29 a gallon at a fixed-base operator at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

For the owner of a Gulfstream jet that burns close to 500 gallons an hour, that amounts to a difference of more than $500 an hour or more than $213,000 a year for the average Gulfstream that’s in the air 410 hours annually.

“That’s the magic that makes this whole thing work,” says Lewis, who also is president of Sterling Air Ltd, an aircraft sales and training company at the Carson City Airport. “That’s a number that must surely capture the attention of the owner sitting in the back.”

Completed in 2008 and 2009 as the real estate boom peaked and then collapsed, Jet Ranch ended up in bankruptcy court as its developer, KCXP Investments LLC of Dayton, reorganized under Chapter 11 protection.

At the time of its filing, KCXP Investments listed $12.6 million in assets, mostly tied up in the Jet Ranch hangars.

For that amount of money, KCXP didn’t build any ordinary hangars. The 41,000-square-foot hangar that’s the centerpiece of the project includes doors large enough to be navigated by a Boeing 737. A glass elevator transports passengers and pilots from the ground floor to a mezzanine that someday might include sleeping quarters or offices for crews of corporate jets.

Ten small hangars ranging from 3,850 to 7,132 square feet each large enough for a corporate jet or a couple of smaller aircraft surround the larger building.

Although Jet Ranch originally was developed as a condominium project in which aircraft owners would purchase hangars, Lewis today is marketing spaces either for sale or for lease.

Big trends, he says, clearly favor Jet Ranch.

The upscale residential neighborhoods of south Reno and Washoe Valley are popular among owners of private aircraft, and the completion of the new I-580 freeway between Mount Rose and Carson City will bring the Carson City Airport within a 20-minute drive.

That’s about the same distance from the corner of Mount Rose Highway and Highway 395 as the Reno-Stead Airport, where the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority hopes to develop new hangars for private aircraft.

Lewis says improvements at the Carson City Airport also will help draw tenants and buyers to Jet Ranch.

The airport’s new 6,100-foot runway has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration for use by commercial flights none are scheduled or planned at the facility and the airport also has completed construction of new taxiways, new lighting and new instrument-approach technology.


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