MONTROSE – With the execution of an agreement by the Montrose County Commissioners and Majestic Skies on July 2, over 508,000 square feet of space at the Montrose Regional Airport has officially been leased to Majestic Skies for the purpose of operating a second Fixed-Base Operator.
Majestic Skies now has 90 days from July 2 to present detailed plans and specifications for phase 1 of the FBO construction to the county, and 36 months to begin construction on the project, assuming all permits and assessments are completed.
In what was a highly controversial decision last month, the Montrose Board of County Commissioners, by a vote of 2-1 (Gary Ellis dissented) approved the contract agreement with Majestic Skies to operate a second FBO at MTJ. The agreement, effective for 20 years (plus two additional ten-year extension options), contains up to $5 million in credit reimbursements from the county for costs associated with developing ramp-and-fuel-farm infrastructure at the airport. The approved agreement does not, however, allow Majestic Skies to be exempt from the airport’s set of Minimum Standards at any time during its start-up period, and mandates that as an FBO, it must comply with the county’s $250,000 per year minimum fuel flowage fee. All other rent and fees, adding up to a minimum of $350,000, will be exempt during Majestic Skies’ start-up period.
As promised, Montrose County has released the proposal Majestic Skies submitted to the county during last year’s request for proposals period. With the county’s refusal to release that proposal to the public until the agreement’s execution, the proposal itself was at the center of swirling controversy, and triggered Colorado Open Records Act litigation between the county and Jet Center Partners, operators of the Black Canyon Jet Center FBO.
According its October 2013 proposal to the county, Majestic Skies is “committed to ensuring that customers will have the ‘best FBO experience’ when visiting Montrose.” Majestic Skies plans to provide a full-service FBO including services, facilities, fuel, line services, ground support, hangar space, shop space, office space and tie-down rentals for a “fair, reasonable, appropriate, and competitive price.”
To build the needed facilities to run the FBO operations, Majestic Skies stated in its proposal that it would invest approximately $4.5 million for needed infrastructure and capital improvements.
Based upon its own fuel sale estimates, Majestic Skies plans to operate the FBO with 16 full-time employees during its first year of operations, and extend that number to 19 by its third year of operation.
Larry Danielle, Majestic Skies business investor, will serve as the the new FBO’s chief operating officer. Danielle, who owns a home in Placerville, sold his self-serve auto-salvage business in Florida in 2012. According to the proposal, he is now focusing on the aviation industry, including the buying and selling of aircraft and developing the new FBO at MTJ.
Matthew Franzak, owner of the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Majestic Jet, will service as the FBO’s chief executive officer. New Jersey-based Big Boyz, LLC owner Dirk VanderSterre will serve as the FBO’s executive general manager, and Richard Cantalupo, who made a brief appearance at one of the commissioners’ FBO hearings earlier this year, will serve as operations manager at the FBO. Cantalupo previously held the position as deputy director of aviation for the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Aeronautical Division.
It is unclear when Majestic Skies plans to begin construction and when it will ultimately open the FBO for business. Phone calls to Danielle were not returned as of press time. The Majestic Skies agreement and its proposal to the county can be viewed at MontroseCounty.net.