For Immediate Release
Jan. 19, 2016
Timothy R. Gaffney, Director of Communications
Phone: (937) 219-8277 (mobile)
DAYTON, Ohio—In an unprecedented act of collaboration, aviation heritage groups, business associations and tourism bureaus in the National Aviation Heritage Area have teamed up to support the grand opening of the National Museum of the United States Air Force’s new building on June 8.
The organizations are leveraging their limited resources by pooling advertising dollars, crafting social media campaigns and planning special events to promote the 224,000-square-foot building, which will make more than 70 historic aircraft, missiles and space vehicles more accessible to the public.
C.D. Moore, a retired three-star Air Force general and a former commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the voluntary chair of the Grand Opening Regional Working Group.
Moore said the museum isn’t the only entity that will benefit from the new building. “There’s a value proposition where the whole region benefits,” he said.
What’s galvanizing the collaboration is a common recognition that the huge new attraction has the potential to be a boon to the region’s economy by boosting tourism—not only to the museum, but also to other aviation heritage sites in the eight-county Heritage Area and other recreational activities across the region.
“We want people to come here to visit the museum, and then stay an extra day or two to visit some of our other attractions,” said Phil Parker, president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. “By working together, we can maximize the museum’s economic impact for the whole region,” he said.
The National Museum and the Air Force Museum Foundation began working with the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) in 2015 to promote the opening of the new building. This led to NAHA convening the working group.
The museum foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the museum and conducted the capital campaign for the $40.8 million building, which was paid for with private donations. NAHA is a nonprofit that serves numerous aviation heritage partners in the eight-county heritage area, including the museum and the foundation.
“This is the biggest, most diversified collaboration in support of aviation heritage the Area has seen,” said Tony Sculimbrene, NAHA’s executive director. “It’s a sign of growing recognition that our aviation heritage has value not just for its history, but for the economic impact it can generate.”
Besides aviation heritage organizations, the working group currently includes the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Dayton Development Coalition, TourismOhio and the convention and visitor bureaus for Greene, Miami and Montgomery counties. It also includes representatives from area attractions not directly related to aviation, such as the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Moore said he expects the list to grow as other community stakeholders get involved.
The National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) is a nonprofit chartered by Congress in 2004 as the management entity for the National Aviation Heritage Area, a region of national historical importance encompassing Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Warren, Champaign, Shelby, and Auglaize counties. The Heritage Area is one of 49 National Heritage Areas in a program administrated by the National Park Service, and the only one dedicated to aviation heritage. Visit aviationheritagearea.org for more information.