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Airport had 48 hours to prepare for President’s visit

The crowd waits for the President at Minden-Tahoe Airport on Sept. 12.
Michael Chan/Special to The R-C

Minden-Tahoe Airport staff had 48 hours to prepare the airport for the President’s Sept. 12 visit.

“That was very fast,” Airport Manager Bobbi Thompson said on Tuesday morning. From the time that the RTA decided they should not do it we had about 48 hours to get that accomplished.

Thompson spoke about the future of general aviation as part of the virtual 2020 Critical Issues Conference hosted by the Business Council of Douglas County.

“I’m blessed with amazing airport great staff,” she said. “The really did a tremendous job.”

A private firm manages the airport, which is owned by Douglas County.

Thompson said the airport staff checked with the Douglas County manager, commissioners and the District Attorney’s Office.

“All of them gave us the green light,” she said. “There were no problems from it. We didn’t have any staff on the clock at the event. It wasn’t our event it was a campaign event.”

The Record-Courier has asked whether any meeting was conducted about the rally.

“We had 28,000 people who had their temperature taken on site for the peaceful protest involving the sitting president,” she said. “People shouldn’t underestimate Douglas County’s little airport.”

In response to the rally in Minden and one in Henderson, Gov. Steve Sisolak sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, who heads up the White House’s Coronavirus task force.

Sisolak told reporters a few days after the rallies that he was disappointed that Douglas County was involved.

“I’m disappointed Douglas County decided to allow the event,” he said during a coronavirus update. “We’re looking at exactly what happened.”

.At the Sept. 16 pandemic update, Sisolak said every local government receiving CARES Act funding signed an agreement to follow all directives. 

Douglas County expects to receive nearly $8 million from the funding and has already organized a business grant program with $1 million.

There is no indication that Sisolak sent a letter to the county regarding either the rally or the CARES funding. The Record-Courier has reached out to both the county and the governor’s office for more information.

The critical issues conference continues 8-9 a.m. through Thursday.