The Boulder City Municipal Airport in Boulder City, Nevada, is home to the new Papillon Airways AeroCenter, home base for the largest air tour company in the world. Located just outside of Las Vegas, the new passenger terminal is a focal point for all visitors to the airfield. The building’s bright red roof and stone exterior set it apart from the surrounding buildings.
Inside the terminal is a two-story bank of windows through which travelers are greeting by sweeping views of the runways and aircraft loading areas and the vast desert beyond. A large gift shop, small café, and comfortable seating for guests waiting to board their tours complete the terminal’s amenities. Up above, visitors will notice a giant ceiling fan made from five helicopter rotor blades. The terminal has lived up to the grand vision of Papillon Airways chairman Elling Halvorson.
A grand opening celebration was held at the AeroCenter on March 23, 2009. Elling Halvorson treated guests to a history of the Halvorson family’s involvement with Grand Canyon air tours, starting with the first tour in 1965. Today the company represents five brands operating from five cities and servicing all rims of the Grand Canyon. The entire Halvorson family was involved in the creation of the new terminal, and all were on hand to celebrate including Elling’s wife Barbara. Daughter Brenda is the company’s CEO and oversees operations in Las Vegas, Boulder City, and the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Sons Lon, Randy, Rod, and Kent were also on hand. Lon made the financial arrangements, and Kent was the general contractor with E. Kent Halvorson Contracting.
Employees, friends, and dignitaries were all on hand. Guests include representatives of the FAA and EUROcopter, the U.S. Senate, Boulder City, and the Navajo, Hualapai, and Havasupai Nations. The ribbon cutting ceremony was accompanied by singing and blessings in English and Hualapai. Blue Martini Las Vegas catered the cocktail party, and guests were able to take tours of the new facility.
Papillon expects an average of 1,500 passengers each day to pass through the new terminal, beginning and ending their Grand Canyon tour experience in a spacious and comfortable environment.