The Air Force Museum being constructed at Hill Air Force Base has the potential to be one of the biggest tourist attractions in the state, but it will cost $3.6 million to make it so.
Retired Maj. Gen. Rex Hadley briefed the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce board of governors Tuesday on the museum's progress. Hadley, who briefed the same group two years ago, said progress has been made in getting some old airplanes for the museum.Buoyed by $2 million from the Legislature, the Air Force Heritage Foundation can move ahead with the museum, Hadley said, but additional grants and donations are needed. He said the museum had 55,000 visitors in 1987 and he expects the number to exceed 100,000 this year.
In addition to the money, the retired general said many people and organizations have donated their time to disassemble airplanes, get them to Utah and then reassemble them in prime condition for display. Also, a barracks is being used to house artifacts.
Hadley said the Utah National Guard helped prepare the 36-acre site and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is helping restore an old chapel from Hill Air Force Base.
Nick Rose, board chairman, said the board passed a resolution endorsing creation of the museum when Hadley gave his first presentation and suggested the support continue. Hadley also asked for help in locating old airplanes that could be transported to the museum and restored.