Message in the skies|Wind Creek launches blimp

Published 5:44 pm Monday, June 22, 2009

By By MaryClair Foster
Special to the Standard

Wind Creek Casino and Hotel has launched a new advertising campaign — quite literally.
The casino, owned by the Poarch Creek Band of Indians, last Sunday debuted a 178-foot  blimp emblazoned with its logo.
The massive orange airship flew over Atmore Saturday night and Sunday after arriving from a weeklong journey from California, illuminating the sky with its 70-foot by 30-foot full-color video screen.
Jay Dorris, president and CEO of PCI Gaming, spoke excitedly about Wind Creek’s new addition and the role it will play.
Tribal Chairman Buford Rolin  said the blimp was not something he could have ever imagined as a possibility for the Tribe and it signified an opportune time for the Tribe.
The blimp is manufactured by the American Blimp Corporation and is an A-170LS Lightsign Lightship model.
The blimp, one of only three of its kind in the world, flies at 32 mph with a maximum speed of 48 mph and usually flies at 1,000 to 1,500 feet. The blimp has a maximum occupancy of four passengers plus the pilot.
Anniston resident Carl Harbuck, who has been piloting airships for 12 years, pilots the airship. He holds the world record for airship endurance flight without stopping or refueling at 24 hours, 39 minutes and 55 seconds.

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