General Aviation News has brought our attention to the Flying W Airport Resort – a general aviation airport like no other because it contains Western theme buildings, a 28-room on-airport motel and an airplane-shaped swimming pool for the whole family to enjoy.
So why does this airport have a swimming pool and other resort like amenities? Simply stated, the Flying W Airport Resort is an important center of recreation and social life in this fast suburbanizing farming region to the east of Philadelphia (actually, the airport resort is located in New Jersey). Locals pay a seasonal pool membership ($300 for single membership to $600 for a family of four) to enjoy the pool, outdoor pavilion, Tiki bar, Snack Shack and summertime outdoor concerts plus the airport resort is rented as a venue for special events.
The airport resort naturally has a flying school with eight aircraft that come with attractive rental prices plus there are regular aviation related social events. Members of the airport resort’s flying club pay an “aviator social club member fee” of just $40.50 per month to help defray fixed costs (renter’s insurance is also required).
However and according to the author (who first visited in 1966), the airport resort’s nice “white tablecloth” restaurant won’t be operating this year except for special events and neither will the adjacent bar (which for years had been marketed for after-softball team gatherings). The Runway Café in the flight school/ops lobby has also closed due to its proprietor’s passing.
Nevertheless, the poolside Snack Shack is open to pilots and clearly the airport resort or recreation center concept serving a surrounding region is a good model for keeping an otherwise quiet and no doubt struggling general aviation airport open for the whole family to enjoy.