June 25, 2016 (Coventry, VT)- The Northeast Kingdom International Airport in Coventry recently welcomed over 300 Porsche automobiles for a two-day event. The Porsche Club of America, which is holding its annual Porsche Parade at Jay Peak Resort—a 10-day gathering of close to 2,000 Porsche owners and attendees from around North America—descended on the airport for its Autocross Competition held June 22-23. Autocross is a timed competition that sees drivers navigate an obstacle course typically defined by cones.
One of the highlight events of the weeklong-plus gathering, the PCA Autocross Challenge requires a significant amount of secure, smooth roadway to create a safe course and one that won’t produce debris that can damage the vehicles. Such a requirement presented Jay Peak with a challenge when it was working on its bid to host the parade. The solution the resort came to: partner with Vermont’s Agency of Transportation to rent the airport’s runway.
Resort officials and a team led by the state’s Aeronautics Administrator Guy Rouelle began working out the details of the plan when it became apparent that the Autocross fell in the middle of the runway’s planned expansion. Casella Construction, the company tasked with extending the runway 1,000 feet, would have its crews fully onsite and mobilized during the competition window.
“We found ourselves in a really tight spot,” said Jay Peak’s General Manager Steve Wright. “Circumstances we couldn’t have envisioned when we began preparing for the PCA Parade began to unfold that presented us with a significant challenge.”
In the end, it was Casella Construction that stepped up with the answer. The Mendon-based company agreed to halt work for two days, without charging a per diem stoppage fee, so that the course and a spectator venue could be built, and the competition completed.
“We looked at the immense economic impact this event was going to have on the economy of the region, and then we took a hard look at our construction schedule,” said Project Manager Joe Casella. “When held in the light of what kind of impact almost 2,000 people driving through Vermont towns over the course of a week and enjoying all that our state has to offer would have, it was easy to find a spare two days in the (construction) schedule.”
Extension of the airport’s runways is still expected to be completed on schedule.