Lucas Oil says “not at this time” to purchase of Salem Airport PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 July 2009 00:00
    Tuesday morning, July 21, the City of Salem and Washington County received the disappointing news that Lucas Oil Company is not interested in buying the Salem Airport at this time.  It was hoped that the sale would produce enough money to serve as the local match for the construction of the new airport immediately to the north of the current facility.
    Lucas representative Mike Chastain told a group including Salem Mayor David Bower, representatives of the Salem Common Council, the Salem Municipal Airport Board of Aviation Commissioners, the County Council, the Board of County Commissioners, the Washington County Growth Partnership, and members of the media that Lucas Oil Company has determined that purchasing the Salem Airport and converting it into a drag racing facility does not fit into the company's business plan for at least the next two years.  
    Chastain went on to say that while Lucas will focus on its production facilities in Corydon for the immediate future, the “Salem project” is not dead.  
    “At this point in time, when we put a pencil to it, the return on investment isn't there considering what it would cost us to do this project the way that we think it needs to be done.” explained Chastain.
    He went on to say, “There is nothing that the City of Salem, Washington County, or Lucas Oil could have or could not have done to make this work out.  The obstacles to this project going forward at this point in time are out of our control.”
    Bower noted that even though efforts were not successful, this was an excellent example of how the county, the city and the economic development people can work together for the good of the community.  Bower also said that the project was not dead.  In fact, he said that at least two other entities have expressed interest in purchasing the airport and that he plans to continue working towards overcoming the obstacles that put the deal with Lucas Oil on the shelf.
    Lucas Oil owns two other racing facilities; one in Missouri and one in California. 
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2009 11:44