|Spotlight on Business
by Ev Chase
SkyDive Las Vegas
Or Flying Tandem Without Wings
All sizes and shapes, men and women, all preparing to jump, as the trite phrase states, "out of a perfectly good airplane."
That the plane will fly and the parachute will open, is taken for granted (or better be), but when one is speaking about business, that's another story and it's not always as easy as, well, jumping out of a plane.
Many business people make success sound easy, once they are successful, and make suggestions to follow in achieving success -- location, location, location to name a few. In addition, a unique product, and knowledge of your product, is always helpful.
A sky diving business is no different, which became evident in my discussion with Mike Hawkes, President and owner of SkyDive Las Vegas.
"I started in North Las Vegas in 1991 and quickly found out NLV was not a good place to run a sky diving operation," Hawkes says. "The area was growing so fast we had to keep moving the landing area."
Housing tracks, according to Mike, kept growing and covering the area used for parachute jump landings. (Location, location, location).
In 1993, while looking for another location to stage his operation, Hawkes found his way to Boulder City where he began discussing his ideas with George Forbes, City Manager, and Jeff Patlovich, Community Development Director.
From last months article,we know Forbes likes trains so why not planes (and automobiles to bring visitors to BC). George, Jeff, etal, developed a site for SkyDive Las Vegas (an oxymoron to say the least) at the Boulder City Airport. Mike made a very smooth landing and the rest of the story, as they say, is called success.
Hawkes, 48, is not an overnight success story, and certainly not new to jumping out of an airplane. He took his first jump in Antiock California when he drove his brother to the airport for a jump. Mike was talked into jumping with him.
"That was in 1978," Mike says, "I made my first jump in army surplus equipment. They were round parachutes which were no good for the army, but they wanted me to jump with them."
Round parachutes come down like a "ton of bricks," Hawkes says, "but we use these big square parachutes which land pretty soft."