The first-ever Wings & Wheels event at Northeast Wyoming Regional Airport. (RJ Morgan/County 17)
After a year of turbulence getting the event off the ground, the Wings & Wheels Open House finally landed over the weekend. The inaugural show and tell was a hit as hundreds visited the rebranding open house at the Northeast Wyoming Regional Airport (NWRA).
Airport staff is unsure exactly how many turned out for the first Wings & Wheels, but one thing was certain – it was a success and there will be many more to come.
“It could not had been any better. We a lot of people here with us celebrating our rebranding and enjoying everything that there was to see out here,” said Tod Love, director of airport operations. “I can’t thank our support staff enough for all they did to make this such a good event.”
The Wings & Wheels was a chance to promote the airport’s recent rebranding from Gillette-Campbell County Airport to the new name that better embraces its service to the entire corner of the state.
It was also a chance to give everyone an up close and personal view that they will never have during a trip to the airport – from the ramp (apron) areas. Enthusiasts of all ages enjoyed the open house of all things wings and wheels.
“The kids love this,” said Mark Davis, who was buying a round of refreshments for his three kids before returning to the row of airplanes. “I think we took pictures of every plane. The kids loved getting to sit in some of them. Next thing I knew, I hear ‘Dad, take a pic of me’ from one of them.”
There were nearly two dozen private plans to look over, sit in and take selfies. There were also many types of wheels to check out, everything from the massive slow-plow equipment used to clear the runways, to dozens of classic cars, motorcycles and helicopter.
The event has been in the works since last winter, but the height of the pandemic made it not an option. It finally came to fruition and Love could not be happier about the response and turnout.
“We rebranded our airport as a regional airport,” said Tod Love, director of airport operations. “We kind of got hit with a bunch of things and haven’t been able to really do a celebration of our new name. And then Covid-19 hit and that ended our plan of doing this last year.”
Next year promised to be bigger, better and different wings and wheels which will be announced prior to the next Wings & Wheels.
For more information about the NWRA, call the airport administration office at 307-686-1042 or visit www.iflygillette.com