Aerial ads are here to stay
May 2, 2008
An airplane that pulls banners over the Snyderville Basin causes a "deafening roar," says Jeremy Ranch resident Midge Farkas.
"Maybe people enjoy very loud airplane noise and this Atlantic City advertising," Farkas complained. "It’s not why I moved here. They were circling above Kimball Junction and Jeremy Ranch."
The planes belong to Aerial Ads and are based at Russ McDonald Field in Heber. The company flies banners that promote the Utah Jazz and Salt Lake Bees baseball team. So Farkas contacted Eric Schulz, the vice president of marketing for the Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment Group.
"Our airplane must fly from Heber to Salt Lake via the I-80 corridor. We apologize that you are inconvenienced by the route, but we don’t have any other options," Schulz replied in an e-mail to Farkas. "Yours is the only complaint we’ve had to our airplane advertising. We’ve had dozens of calls from people who seem to love it, and we plan on continuing to do so."
In the past few weeks, officials in Summit County were asked about the planes.
Noise is her biggest concern, Farkas said.
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But banners are only flown through the Basin when pilots pass through to Salt Lake City, Aerial Ads owner Denice Heidorn explained, adding that her planes follow the Interstate 80 corridor.
"We do not circle around that area," she said. "I’ve had one other caller out of Park City and it was somebody from California saying this is why he moved away from California."
Saturday, people in Park City will see an airplane with an advertisement for a real estate firm in the area. Heidorn expected a banner promoting the Utah Jazz to pass through western Summit County Friday evening.
"We stay 1,000 feet off the ground, that’s our regulation from the [Federal Aviation Administration] guidelines," Heidorn said. "I would rather see an airplane flying in the air than having all the clutter of the billboards on the side of the road."
Pilots pull the banners with a Husky backcountry plane or agricultural plane.
"It’s very new and it’s bringing the beach to the mountains," said Heidorn, who lives in Midway. "We’ve had so many calls from people who think it’s great. They might be stuck in traffic and it’s just entertaining."
But Farkas isn’t amused.
"Maybe, people like that kind of thing, but it seems kind of odd. A banner flying around, who wants to see that, we’ve got the mountains to look at," Farkas said in a telephone interview.
Only two people have complained since the aerial advertising began last July, Heidorn countered, adding that "we’re the only company here in Utah."
"I’ve only gotten a couple complaints and they came from Park City. But Park City is a different breed. I lived there for 10 years so I understand the breed that lives there," she said. "We aren’t out there to offend anybody, but we are out there to make a living."
Farkas complained to Summit County about the planes.
"They said they have had numerous complaints about it They say they’re powerless because it is an FAA thing," Farkas said. "[Planes] seem like a bit of an ugly, unsightly thing to see in our canyon."