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.


Swamp Fox

arnmcrmn, great comment, I keep asking who are these 100 companies that are using the airport that the supporters refer to? Where are they located? How many times a year do they use the airport?


I'm pretty sure Mr. Bader (along with the county commissioners & HCDC)were already given a 'clear message' back in Aug 2011.
The Clark & Weinstock report, which was 'paid' for by the HCDC (with money given to them by the Huron County commissioners)states "The non-aviation interest of the sponsor or the local community -- such as making land available for economic development -- does not constitute an airport benefit that can be considered in justifying a release and disposal."
Besides, if the airport ever was to be sold who is to say that the Baders would be the high bidder?


Why not just be happy with you have there. So there are a few traffic problems. But that is only when there are large events. The track is making money just the size it is...I mean..How many people around here can take and expect to pay cash $800,000.00 on something..I'd say your doing very well. Stop the whining and enjoy the ride your on Mr. Bader. There are alot of other business in this county who would like to expand but cannot. The revenue generated to the other business's in this county is not what you or anyone may believe... Enjoy your ride. Either pack up your toys and leave, or stop crying about it...

Most Wanted

I have no idea what Mr. Baders intentions are for expansion but...if he increased his parking by just 50 for a sold out event and still sold out for example: 50 extra cars for an event w/ 4 people in each car would generate in one overnight stay, 50 extra hotel rooms ($3,000 @ $60.00 ea.), 200 extra breakfast ($1,800), 200 extra dinners ($3,000), 50 extra fill-ups at the gas stations ($3,000), probably 50 extra or cases of beer sold ($800), 200 extra lunches ($1,600), 50 extra misc. item spending in Drug Mart, Walmart ($1,000), Extra shop spending in antique stores ($2,000). That totals approximately an extra $15,700 extra in one day in our local economy...not including how many people already come to one of his events. I'd say asking him to leave is asking Norwalk to wither and die just a little bit more. Why would anyone do that? Don't be jealous because the man is successful. Support his growth for what it does for other local business'.


Wanted -

1. According to Summit's OWN website, their "official" places to stay are Great Wolf Lodge and Sawmill Creek. The last time I checked, NEITHER of these places is in HURON County.

2. Statistically, where do travelers tend to dine and refuel? Near their LODGING! And where does Summit encourage its visitors to lodge? ERIE county!

My vote is for keeping the airport where it is in order to keep the FIVE MAJOR companies IN NORWALK along with the 4200+ workers they employ in total. Bader should realize that Summit benefits from the airport, too. Or maybe Billy already knows this and this is all part of his hidden agenda? Bader has MANY other options available around his current operations for expansion. Why ONLY the airport? Hmmmmm . . . .

me arse

windy - I agree with your comment about lodging. If racing fans wanted to stay over in Norwalk, then someone would have built a nice hotel here a long time ago. The airport serves as an important piece of infrastructure for various companies, and it would be foolish to get rid of it because one seasonal business owner has a temper tantrum. I wish Billy well, but I don't believe in corporate welfare. Even if Billy gets his way, there's still no guarantee that he won't change his mind about moving at a later date in time.

Most Wanted

Windy, Windy, you are blowing smoke and hot air. Great Wolf Lodge and Sawmill Creek are "official" PAID sponsorships. If you don't think the hotel on Milan Ave. in Norwalk is filled to capacity when Summit has an event and empty the following weekend when they don't have an event you are nuts. So the hotels in Norwalk are filled to capacity when Summit has an event...and they do dine and refuel and shop in Norwalk....and overflow into surrounding areas as well.

By the way, I'm betting the Fisher Titus big wigs put their "guest" up at Sawmill Creek instead of the hotel on Milan Ave. Why? Because it's a pretty impressive place and when you are trying to lure a doctor to Norwalk you don't put him up in a $60 a night hotel....and he probably flew in to Cleveland Hopkins Airport on a great big airplane as well!

me arse

Windy is what your first comment was, geez. You were pretty impressive with all your fancy numbers. Why are you trying to compare race fans to doctors?


me arse - I'm comparing one seasonal business to a number of full-time businesses. There is validity to the old saying, "Don't put your eggs all in one basket." Yes, Summit brings in revenue, but so do many other businesses in the county. Summit could expand to the south and west if Billy really wanted. Something smells fishy that Billy is SO intent on getting his hands on the airport property. If the Norwalk Reflector was as good at investigating as sensationalizing, we would probably know why by now.


Wanted- OMG! The hotels in Norwalk are filled to capacity TWO WHOLE WEEKENDS A YEAR all because of Summit? How would those hotels ever survive without it? LOL

Most Wanted

Wow! Now you are being stupid just to argue...and wasting my time.


What time?
The time you spend guzzling your beer or sniffing exaust fumes?


The race track brings in alot of sales tax and revenue throughout huron county The airport can only accept small planes most go to sandusky or port clinton GET RID OF THE AIRPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!


king - What FACTS are you basing your comment on? Show us!

From what I have found in my research, THESE are just the MAJOR companies in Norwalk who have been documented having aircraft fly into the airport for the sole purpose of doing business with them:
* Sunrise Agronomy (49 employees)
* Janesville Acoustics (42 employees)
* Norwalk Furniture (59 employees)
* Americraft Carton (37 employees)
* Fisher-Titus Medical Center (4000+ employees)
THESE are the companies that bring the REAL revenue to Huron County and employ most of the people who live in this town, people who spend their money in the county and pay taxes here.

FYI, a Cessna Citation, a corporate jet which can hold as many as 9 passengers, can use this airport. This is NOT a "small plane". Business executives who fly in these multi-million dollar jets do not have the time to waste sitting in traffic or driving over an hour in total to do their business dealings. They want to get in and get out as fast as possible. Time is money.

The airport is an asset to Norwalk RIGHT WHERE IT IS. Getting rid of the airport would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face.


lmao you are actually trying to convince us that these businesses highly rely on the tiny, taxpayer owned, frozen in winter airstrip? Get over yourselves, WILLARD and surrounding airports nullify your silly argument.

Also, I heard Summit wants to expand with a possible hotel and restaurant in addition to track improvements, I can only see that as a positive for Huron County and its taxpayers.

You dozen or so wealthy hobbyists really need to think of others besides your own "wants" for a change.


Football - Say Summit builds a hotel and a restaurant, what happens to all of the hotels and restaurants already established IN NORWALK? You want them ALL to suffer or close for Billy's benefit? Maybe YOU really need to think of other businesses besides ONE for a change.

Summit could expand to the south and west if Billy really wanted to. Why does he keep going after the airport? Because he thinks he can convince gullible people like you to GIVE him the airport . . . and you are falling for it hook, line, and sinker.

Most Wanted

You just said in another comment that all the racers stay at the Kalahari and Great Wolf....(even though the local hotel on Milan Ave is full on the weekends Summit has an event)...MAKE UP YOUR MIND WINDY!


What windy said was, Summit lists the Kalahari and Great Wolf Lodge as official hotels of the track.
By the way doesn't the track get discounts for the racers and fans that stay there?
Sure the local "hotels" are full but why not build more, BECAUSE A COUPLE WEEKENDS A YEAR DOES NOT SUPPORT THE INVESTMENT.

Most Wanted

Propman, this article is not about building more hotels, no one is saying we need more you have trouble keeping up with the jist of the story or do you just think Windy needs a wing man?


If the track is so great for Huron county then building more hotels would be needed.
Time for thinking to be most wanted by you.

me arse

I really wish most wanted would stop wasting our time with her silly winded comments. Even Forrest Gump could understand that the raceway only brings in a lot of business for just a few weeks out of the entire year.


What would be the actual value of the airport, Including federal loans that would have to be paid off? If Bader couldnt fork over the 800K for a forclosed property in Mansfield. He surley couldnt come up with the money for the airport. I say throw the real price of the airport out there and see how far he gets he'll have no one to blame but himself!


Dusty - Being public property, IF the FAA did finally allow its sale, by law the airport would have to go through a public auction. If Billy wouldn't go over $775,000 for a racetrack that is already built, who is to say he would win the bid in the auction of the airport? The airport could go to some other entity that NOBODY would want in their backyard. Are we as a community willing to take that risk, especially when Bader has lots of OTHER expansion opportunities in the same area? Something is not adding up . . . .


I was just pointing out that regardless how rich he thinks he is I just dont think he'd be able to swing it. I'm sure he pulled everything he could to get the Mansfield track and fell short. And you know he really wanted that just so he could move and say "I told you so" He's a big man in a small town, But out there in the real world he's just a small fish.


It isn't all about you and your friends. You lose Summit and you lose revenue. Lose revenue and taxes INCREASE for all of us. Lose the airport and the few that use it will just have to drive a bit farther to play.


No, it's all about Billy's happiness at the expense of EVERYONE else in the county. If Summit is so successful now, WHY is Billy SO focused on getting the airport property when he could easily purchase the farmland directly to the south for his expansion empire and keep the airport right where it is in order to attract even more racers and fans? Can't you see between the lines? Something doesn't add up here and I, for one, am NOT falling for it!

swiss family

you must be in a position to profit from the sale of that land in my opinion. I am certainly NOT a genius, but it is pretty plain to see that the airport property would be more attractive, being that the massive crowds at the drag strip, would be able to exit from 2 highways instead of the current congestion of just one.. in my opinion


I'll agree with you on one thing Swiss.
Anything from the sale of public land goes to the authority that held it.
In this case the COMMISSIONERS.


is prop short for propaganda