With 25 years of private operation, The Gary Jet Center (GJC) has long held a stronghold in both the aviation community and the City of Gary-Gary/Chicago International Airport. Given its advantageous geographic placement, the location provides fast, easy access into downtown Chicago, making it a highly desirable location for business expansion and economic growth.
The grand opening of the new Corporate Flight Center on October 25th was the culmination of a 12-year campus-style development for charter, corporate and private clientele. The Flight Center, housed in a sleek, beautifully-designed 8,300 square-foot state of the art facility features world class amenities, glass-walled lobby overlooking the runway, seating for 45+, conference rooms, individual pods for workspace/calls/sleep, contemporary furnishings, 3 pilots/crew lounges, conveniently flanked by the two 40,000square-foot hangars and 5 acres to accommodate even the largest aircraft.
“Our goal is to further expand into the downtown Chicago corporate market and this building is the cornerstone for that growth,” said Lynn Eplawy, President of the Gary Jet Center. She further stated that although there are 14 airports in the Chicagoland area, GJC’s location is only 25 minutes from the city and is the closest airport to many venues, increasing the opportunity to serve the sports and entertainment sectors.
Representatives from the Governor’s Office and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation along with other elected officials, clients, employees, and prominent members of the local community attended the grand opening celebration.
Rollie Helmling, Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s Senior Vice President of Global Industry and Trade Development, further elaborated on the relationship between community and business.
“One of the most significant reasons for a company to make a decision to even build or reinvest is when they see the community and state working hand-in-hand as partners,” said Helmling. “And companies, like Gary Jet Center, want to do business in locales [such as Northwest Indiana] and in states that are run like a business—and that’s definitely the case for Indiana.”
Karen Lauerman, President and CEO of the Lake County IN Economic Alliance who introduced Helmling remarked on the importance of this investment as it relates to attracting and retaining business in the area.
“Gary Jet Center is a constant, reliable partner in economic development. Wil Davis and Lynn Eplawy know that corporate travel is a factor when executives are evaluating locations. The new Flight Center puts Lake County squarely on the map for top tier decision makers.”
President of Gary-based project and construction management firm LEE Companies, Patrick Lee, passionately spoke about the various phases of development of the Gary Jet Center “West Campus” emphasizing that the new Center and hangars are energy saving, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly. Lee also noted the attention to detail by Eplawy and her team in making sure that the Center had all the amenities and feel of a 5-star hotel.
Long-term GJC employee, Jeff Hansen proudly attended the event in support of the opening and anticipation of what comes next.
“The opening [of the new Corporate Flight Center] means growth,” He stated, “A bright future as the result of a long-term project coming to fruition…and it’s definitely going to bring more business into the Gary Jet Center.
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