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Offutt Air Show cancellation for third time in five years is ‘a shock,’ says Bellevue chamber leade
The cancellation of Offutt Air Force Base’s annual air show in 2017 — for the third time in five years — is a blow to Bellevue civic and business leaders who say the event is a moneymaker for the city. “That’s a shock,” Jim Ristow, president and CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, said of the air show cancellation. Ristow said the event draws in people who don’t traditionally visit Bellevue, and many come from outside the metro area. Hotels in the city are generally filled during the air show, he said, and visitors spend money at other businesses in the city during their stay. “It’s a way for us to showcase our community and connection to the military,” he said. The air show has been a more or less annual tradition at Offutt since 1972, drawing crowds estimated at up to 300,000 for the two-day event in recent years. But it was scrubbed in 2013 because of military budget cuts and in 2015 because repair work to Offutt’s tarmac. In announcing the cancellation, 55th Wing officials said airmen at the base will be too busy next summer to staff the air show because of overseas commitments for its [...]