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Boeing To Open New Museum...

Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:52 am

I have heard about this before when I was at a members tour of the Museum of Flight's Restoration Center. Good to hear that it is going to happen.


Friday, March 5, 2004

Boeing to open new museum


EVERETT -- The Boeing Co. has agreed to move its popular tour center for its widebody jetliner factory into a $21.7 million aircraft museum to be built at Paine Field.

The Snohomish County Council approved a 25-year lease agreement Wednesday with Boeing. The tour center is expected to bring a steady stream of visitors to the National Flight Interpretive Center, which is scheduled to open in June 2005.

"It is the single critical element to having the project," said Bill Lewallen, deputy director of Snohomish County Airport-Paine Field. "Without the Boeing Tour Center ... there's no way to make it pencil."

A Boeing 727 and a B-52 bomber will be displayed at the entrance to the 68,000-square-foot museum, which will include a cafe, meeting rooms and gift shop.

County officials expect 230,000 visitors a year at the museum, increasing tourism spending by $3.5 million in the county.

Money for the museum has been obtained through county general-obligation bonds. Boeing will pay for the $6 million tour center, including a 200-seat theater and company gift shop, and will make lease payments.

Seattle's Museum of Flight is expected to run the museum under an operations agreement that should be completed within weeks, said Barry Smith, Museum of Flight's executive director at Paine Field. The Seattle museum already uses a restoration facility there for maintenance of its flying fleet.

Lewallen said a 100-room Hilton Garden Inn with eight executive suites may be built next to the Paine Field museum.

He said Beechwood Development of DeForest, Wis., expects to make a final decision in the next three weeks.