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Fri, Mar 08, 2024

Classic Aero-TV: Sun ‘N Fun Reports Biggest And Safest Year Yet In 2021

From 2021 (YouTube Version): ANN Talks With John ‘Lites’ Leenhouts, President & CEO, Sun ‘n Fun

“We truly believed that we would have a reduced crowd, by a substantial number, we estimated a 25% reduction in participation and attendance, and boy were we wrong. They came out in droves. It was a gigantic, massive onslaught of humanity coming to enjoy the aviation experience. As we approached the fly in, we realized our advanced ticket sales were skyrocketing,” says Leenhouts.

“We had to really quickly configure for a larger participation than we ever envisioned. Ultimately, we were up 25% more than we have ever seen. It was a record, absolutely astounding, we were over 200,000 people and we never see that. There were years in the past where people had all these wild numbers about 400,000 or 500,000 but that wasn’t reality. I’m telling you the truth. We approached 200,000 and we have never seen that before. Saturday alone was close to 45,000 and normally on a Saturday 35,000 would be about it,” he continues.

“So, we were filling up the parking lot as fast as we could and about 3:00, we realized we didn’t have enough space so we acquired two more plots of land, about ten more acres to the east of the field and started routing people over there. We had no volunteers to take money for parking so you park for free, and about 3:30 as the Blue Angels were approaching take off position we had a quarter mile line on each one of our gates to get in and I said if they can show you on their cell phone or a piece of paper that they paid for a ticket, let them in, skip the wrist bands, keep it moving.”

Leenhouts says there were no complaints and that they work on getting a 10/10 for quality and customer service. He shares that usually one of the ways that the quality of the event is measured is by the number of incidents that take place. Normally, there are between 15-20 incidents ranging from someone getting hurt to an airplane getting dinged. This year there were only three incidents which makes it not only the largest year, but the safest.

 

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Kimberly Kay. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

©2021 Aero-News Network, Inc., ALL Rights Reserved

FMI: www.aero-news.net, www.youtube.com/aerotvnetwork, www.airbornetv.net, https://flysnf.org

 


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