Jerry Hunter, chief executive of US Fleet Tracking, says he's almost embarrassed to show visitors inside Sundance Airport, his latest business venture.
With its pink bathrooms, gaudy '80s decor and overgrown brush surrounding the runway, it's clear Sundance could use a face-lift. But the before, he says, is essential to appreciating the after.
Hunter purchased the airport at NW 122 and Sara Road on Dec. 31 and is planning to invest $1 million to remodel the terminal building, adding an aviation-themed restaurant and other first-class amenities, as well as 80 new aircraft hangars at a cost of an additional $2.4 million.
The airport will remain open during the renovation, which begins in a couple of weeks.
“Four months from now, you won't recognize it,” Hunter said.
He plans to replicate many elements used in the $2.3 million Oklahoma City corporate headquarters for US Fleet Tracking, which he and his wife, Cindy, started in 2005. The company provides GPS-based tracking devices and services to companies and for special events, such as the Super Bowl.
The transition at Sundance already has begun. Hunter kept just one staff member as he took over; he changed the name from Sundance Airpark to Sundance Airport and created a Facebook page and new website. He's also hired a new general manager.
Hunter was looking for hangar space for his personal plane when he discovered Sundance was for sale. The facility had the least expensive rates of any he called, but like Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport and Wiley Post Airport, the hangars were full. Hunter asked Sundance's owner Gary Varnell why he didn't raise the rent and build more hangars. That's when Varnell disclosed the airport was for sale, Hunter said.