Bader delivers clear message -- 'If we can't do business here, we will find some other place to do it'

Huron County Airport property is the direction for growth, raceway owner says.
Scott Seitz2
Jan 19, 2013


Bill Bader Jr. said he's tired of playing the waiting game.

Bader, president of Summit Motorsports Park, and his father attended the Mansfield Speedway auction with a check in-hand on Friday. Though this opportunity wasn't right for Bader, he said he's looking and expansion might not include Norwalk.

"I want to grow," he said after the auction. "My frustration level is spilling over and I am tired of playing the waiting game. We're looking at all our options."

Bader has previously said, and reiterated on Friday, that the Huron County Airport property is the direction for growth.

Read what Bader had to say in the story published on the front page of Saturday's Reflector.



Bader said “The 177 acres is a little small to develop a multi-use facility,” he said. “I think you need at a minimum 400 acres"
Bader how many acres would the airport and what you already have add up to?
Why not get the land west or south of the track?
Why has the roads been improved before, that is what you need to service what you already have? How much did ODOT tell you would be your share to pay for that?
Your actions and statements have shown you to be the stereotypical evil businessman.


I'm curious . . . what is land going for per acre in Huron County and how many acres does the airport sit on? Personally, looking at all he's going to have to do to the airport to make it usable for his purposes, I think Billy would have saved money by buying that "train wreck" in Mansfield and fixing it up. Something just doesn't add up in Billy's story.


Mr.Bader one man,county 63,000 people perspective.Would be great if he stays,but if not no big deal.Selfish tactics are seldom effective.This is a seasonal part time business.


It's amazing how many people underestimate the impact of the raceway. If Norwalk loses the raceway, you might as well turn off the lights and roll up the streets. The only crying I hear is from the airport's good ol' boys club. This seasonal, part time business still has more impact in one season than the airport has had in its entire lifetime.


Ya right! Sure it does. Pass what your smoking my way because I don't see it and neither do the residents on these streets that will "ROLL UP"!! ;)

yea right

Its the truth Huron co. Will go down hill


Huron County is already at the bottom of the hill. It can't get any lower without an excavator.


Rogerthat, You are right, it is the same old half a dozen good old boys club, small plane owners who have had free reign at a county owned facility and just cannot accept that the gravy train may be leaving the station. All these past months I have never heard or seen more negative, defamatory, juvenile, and entitled complaining as I have seen from airport users. The behavior of the board alone is an embarrassment.


Yep Football, Essex has definitely lowered the standards wherever he has been.

Brock Lee

aint that the guy that doent pay taxes


For several years!
Was behind by over $6,000 and nealy another #1,000 in fines, interest and penalties.
Finally paid the tax but some how seems to have gotten away without paying the rest.
Most everyone else would have been watching thier property being sold at auction before getting that far behind.
I'm sure he had help from a well placed benifactor.

yea right

County commissioners just want a free place to store their toys and mess with new airport that NASA. Was going to put in


Sounds smarter to deal with NASA than the fume sniffing raceway park!! Bader could only dream to impact this economy the way NASA could!!




GO Then. Don"t stop just leave. Huron County is sick of people that don't get their way and cry. Who do the BADERS think they are!! And when you go --take the Commissioners with you.


@ hcvoter53 = "Like"

swiss family

I often wonder why it seems that so many local people, hate it when they see a local person or family do well?? I think that a lot of this is jealousy, they they have not made the same sacrifices, and taken the same risks, and resent the fact that someone did all of that, with a great chance of it being a total failure, but it is not.. it is a successful, and thriving business that Norwalk is known for..
go to any nearby community, even some not so close and mention Norwalk.. most people will tell you they have heard of Norwalk, because of either the race track, or Berry's.. and it seems that the success of those 2 businesses, and possibly because they are local family successes, that locals resent them so much. I have never heard of any "outsider" say that they have heard of Norwalk because of their county airport..Never!!It is astonishing to me, especially after the beautiful Christmas display that the Bader family and the race track employees provided us with, to see so many people act as if they could care less if they would leave.It seems like only a short year ago, that people were so mesmerized by the hope of "jobs, jobs, jobs.." and here we are , and so many people act as if they do not care if we not only lose such a thriving business, one that is well known, but that they would be happy to lose all of the Jobs as well.

I would like to thank the Bader family for the work they put into their business, and for all of the notoriety that goes with Norwalk being associated with their fine was literally started out not too long ago, as a small, mostly local raceway.. and has grown tremendously because of all they have put into it, and because of all of the benefits that have helped so many locals as well.

I know it is hard to get an airport to close completely, but would it really be that difficult to move the airport to some other deserted farmers field that could easily be converted into a place equal to what they have now?I think that if we actually had County commissioners who were out to benefit the community instead of worrying about what their political party expects from them, it would be fairly easy to settle this. I understand the Bader's frustration in the "waiting game" I share their frustration as well >I am tired of the airport panel giving therm grief, instead of trying to solve the problem with everyone winning. If we still had someone like Mike Adelman as a commissioner, I think this would have been settled a very long time ago, and everyone would be a winner..


Swiss , if Bader didn't want to fork out the money for the track in Mansfield, what makes you think he would for the airport when it doesn't have any of the facilities and would have to pay to remove what is there to put in what he needs?
Even to move the airport to some "abandoned farmers field" would take years of EPA studies then construction before Bader could take position of the current airport.
You'd still have to get FAA permission for the sale and relocation before the commissioners can sell it, Which they already have said NO to.
One more item, any sale of county property would have to be by auction. Someone can very well out bid Bader even if he wasn't being a cheap ba*****


Considering the state of the economy, the FAA, Governor, and the like would surely assist in keeping one of Huron County's most valuable REVENUE sources in tact; your argument has become one of several mantras that you repeat over and over like a whining child. This newspaper has previously printed a statement from the FAA stating they would not necessarily oppose the sale.


Maybe that is why I feel like a Dad who keeps telling the son to study in school. The child has yet to LEARN!

swiss family

Propman.... by your user name , I am going to guess that you are a big supporter of the airport, good for you. I do feel , though, that Mr Bader would love to buy the airport property, and would be more than willing to pay to remove what is there, and pay to redesign it the way that would be most beneficial to him, thus for the benefit of the track, thus for the enjoyment and financial bonus for the community, because He has already said he would like to buy it, and I think at one time was trying to negotiate a price, to see if they were even in the same "ball park"with their appraisal and his.

Again, I am going to assume that you are associated with aviation, and as such have had a better "birds eye" view of all of the farmers fields, to see which of them would and could accommodate an airport, and even include enough property for future development of the airport if the need arises.

I would almost guess that you are a politician of sorts, it seems to be mostly politicians, that whenever a good idea comes along, and it could benefit the majority of people, suddenly come up with all of the reasons that something CAN'T be done... unless someone creates a committee to discuss things and blah... blah... blah....why does it have to be so complicated... it doesn't have to be if we leave out all of the politics, and jealousies, and power struggles.. in my opinion


Swiss I'll repost an earlier comment you are ignoring,
” Bader added. “My point is, if we’re going to spend $800,000 at a minimum and then maybe another $100,000 to clean it up and I don’t know, maybe another $300,000, $400,000 or $500,000 so it’s raceready"
How much to tear out the airport and build from scratch Bader?
Let alone the cost of purchasing the airport property which would have to be sufficient to offset the relocation cost.
This whole issue is from him seeing a possibility of getting cheap land from the county.
It would cost the county millions to relocate the airport and would take many years before Bader could even take possession of the property.


In the beginning it was about cooperation so Bader could exit traffic. Once Silcox was elected the talk went to expansion and purchase of the airport property. Now that Silcox has been thrown out on his ear the promises of the quick behind the scenes under the table sale of the airport is a dream. What's funny is other raceway owners around this country clammer for the opportunity to have an adjacent airport to increase business opportunities, and bring in visitors, but not Bader. Look at Datona, Atlanta, Sebring, and Talladaga. All have airports adjacent to their facility that bring visitors to their events. Bader has many options, but the cheapest is a ready made publicly owned dragstrip with frontage on 3 roads, and at least 2 gullible commissioners who lack common sense, in his pocket. Bill, quit your whinning. Buy up land on Hwy 18, work with the airport, and move forward with your dream of expansion, without compromising a valuable piece of local infrastructure. You'll have your legacy, and be able to supply those high paying full time jobs you've promised the community. Everybody will win.


@ lawtfcur = "LIKE"


I so agree with you! Bader needs to work with what he has to the south/west, and leave the airport alone!


Willard has an airport, as does Sandusky and Elyria.
I fully support Summit's desire for expansion, even if it means losing the non-profitable, taxpayer owned, liability laden airport. As reported in another article notable Huron County businessmen/businesses are PUBLICLY backing the expansion of Summit. I suggest you read it.


Summit can expand wherever it wants as long as Bader is willing to pay fair price.


Sandusky (Griffing) Airport is going to be closing soon. Haven't you seen that in the papers?




Whiskey Tango F...

Even if you agree with Swiss, please don't show it... The posts get longer and worse. The core concept and ideas are usually good but wow! $5 says there have been MANY first dates there and more than 7 cats reside at the same adress.