Papillon opens new $9M terminal

Officials and members of the Halvorson family cut the ribbon at the opening of their new Boulder City terminal.

Officials and members of the Halvorson family cut the ribbon at the opening of their new Boulder City terminal.

BOULDER CITY, Nev. - Papillon Helicopters and Grand Canyon Airlines/Scenic Airlines, the largest premiere "flightseeing" companies in the world, unveiled a new, $9 million dollar terminal in Boulder City that will house the companies' Nevada operations under one roof.

The grand opening for the ultramodern Aerocenter was held on March 23, at its 1265 Airport Rd. location in Boulder City, Nev. It houses Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, Grand Canyon Airlines/Scenic Airlines and Canyon Flight Trading Company.

The grand opening event included inspirational music, distinguished guests and officials and traditional Christian and Hualapai tribal blessings. Chairman of the Board Elling Halvorson handed over the keys of the building to President and CEO Brenda Halvorson as she and Boulder City Mayor Roger Tobler cut the ribbon.

Completed in less than a year, the terminal is the realized dream for the Halvorson family who oversaw the project on all levels: Elling Halvorson coordinated design and construction of the terminal; Lon Halvorson arranged financing; Kent and his company E. Kent Halvorson, Inc. served as general contractor.

"My father had oversight of every line and every design that went into the blueprints," says Brenda Halvorson. "We are proud of what we have built and can confidently look at the marketplace and know we are leading the way for air tourism today."

The new 30,000-square-foot terminal enables guests to seamlessly check in for all flights and tours offered by Papillon and Grand Canyon Airlines/Scenic Airlines. It features 26-foot ceilings and modern décor, with the center rotunda adorned by an enormous, avant-garde propeller with 24-foot blades that slowly turn above passengers as they wait to board. Additional special touches include air-conditioning vents that resemble airplane engine exhaust ducts.

Guests can leave belongings in a secure storage area and can purchase food, beverages and gifts inside the terminal. Outside on the ramp, there is space for Papillon's local fleet of 15 helicopters and Grand Canyon Airlines/Scenic Airline's 16-airplane fleet.

"Papillon experienced a record year in 2008," Brenda Halvorson said. "This success, plus our recent acquisition of four companies over the course of the last several years, paved the way, literally, for this beautiful terminal which will truly make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our passengers from start to finish."

Founded in 1965, Papillon Airways, Inc. (French for "butterfly") acquired the 80-year-old Grand Canyon Airlines/Scenic Airlines to become one of the largest "flightseeing" companies in the world, with nearly 70 state-of-the-art helicopters and airplanes specifically designed to reveal panoramic views beyond imagination.

The Halvorson family recently acquired Kenai Helicopters (now known as Grand Canyon Helicopters), Grand Canyon Airlines, Grand Canyon Coaches and Scenic Airlines. These are the only companies that fly the entire Grand Canyon including the South and West rims, in addition to tours of Las Vegas, Page/Lake Powell and Monument Valley. Tours afford maximum flight time, enabling guests to fully discover Grand Canyon's great wilderness and scenic attractions. During busy months, the Halvorson companies fly more than 3,500 passengers daily.

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