Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ron Paul Blimp to Launch Dec. 13 or 14 from Elizabeth City, N.C.

Elizabeth Evans
Cahoon & Cross Marketing Consultants
Phone: (757) 625-7068 direct line
Wayne Harris, AEDC
(888) 338-1678 or (252) 338-0169

Ron Paul Blimp to Launch Dec. 13 or 14 from Elizabeth City, N.C.
-- Economic development officials believe publicity stunt
will draw attention to Northeastern North Carolina’s booming aviation industry --

(Elizabeth City, N.C., Dec. 11, 2007) – Spectators in Elizabeth City, N.C. will witness an aviation first when a blimp carrying an advertisement for a presidential candidate takes to the skies on Thursday or Friday, Dec. 13 or 14.

Pending weather conditions and flight logistics, the Ron Paul blimp will be launched at 8 a.m. from Airship Management Services’ (AMS) main operating and technical facility in Elizabeth City on one of these days. Check for updates at, direct from AMS.

“AMS has launched blimps advertising such brands as Fujifilm, Ameriquest. Coca-Cola and Frito-Lay,“ said Wayne Harris, economic developer of the Albemarle Economic Development Commission (AEDC). “But this is the first blimp to feature a presidential campaign ad."

Featuring slogans that read, “Who is Ron Paul?” and “Ron Paul Revolution,” the 200-foot-long blimp (larger than the famous Goodyear blimp) promotes the Texas congressman’s Republican presidential bid. From Elizabeth City, the lighter-than-air ship will depart on a promotional tour that will fly over Washington, D.C., and New York City, with stops in Boston and New Hampshire later this month.

Liberty Political Advertising, which supports Paul but is not affiliated with the campaign office, is leasing the blimp from AMS, a worldwide leader in the operation of airships. Based in Connecticut, AMS provides flight crews, technical expertise and ground support to airships from its maintenance facility and FAA repair station in Elizabeth City.

Aviation Industry in Elizabeth City

The AEDC, which markets business opportunities in the City of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank and Camden Counties, believes the publicity stunt will draw serious attention to Elizabeth City’s booming aviation industry.

Some of AMS’s other projects include work for the U. S. Navy / U. S. Coast Guard, New York Police Department, British Ministry of Defense, Hellenic Police (for the Athens Olympics in 2004), the government of Trinidad and Tobago, Fujifilm, Ameriquest, and most recently for The Palm Project in Dubai.

TCOM, L.P., headquartered in Columbus, Md., manufactures aerostats and airship “blimp” envelopes in Elizabeth City. The company shares space in its massive hangar with AMS. TCOM also manufactures tethered aerostats used for surveillance by military and law-enforcement organizations.

Another company, DRS Technologies provides long-term, aircraft engineering, maintenance and management support. DRS recently announced plans to build a second 80,000 square-foot hangar to service Coast Guard C-130 aircraft, bringing its employee count to 300. Elizabeth City is home to the country’s largest Coast Guard base.

Construction begins in January on the 63-acre, $10.4-million Elizabeth City Aviation Research and Development Commerce Park, with room for four more DRS-sized hangars and facilities for Elizabeth City State University and the College of The Albemarle. Project partners include the City of Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Regional Airport Authority and the AEDC.

Located between Norfolk, Va., and North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Elizabeth City features a picturesque waterfront, an extensive downtown shopping and business district, six National Register Historic Districts and is home to the Museum of the Albemarle, Pasquotank Arts Council Gallery, Elizabeth City State University Planetarium and Port Discover Science Center. The city is featured in the book, The 100 Best Small Towns in America.

Headquartered in Elizabeth City, the AEDC markets business opportunities in the City of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank and Camden Counties to prospective employers throughout the United States. For information, call the AEDC ( at 1-888-338-1678 or (252) 338-0169.

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Media Accommodations
Elizabeth City inns and hotels are offering a special rate, good Dec. 10 – 17, 2007, for media on assignment covering the Ron Paul blimp. (Rates listed are for a one-night stay, based on double occupancy and do not include taxes.)

• Culpepper Inn ($110)
609 West Main Street, Elizabeth City
Call 252/335-9235 for reservations

• Elizabeth City Bed & Breakfast ($90)
108 East Fearing Street, Elizabeth City
Call 252/338-2177 for reservations

• Grice-Fearing House Bed & Breakfast ($110)
200 South Road Street, Elizabeth City
Call 252/333-1792 for reservations

• Fairfield Inn & Suites ($100)
1640 City Center Blvd., Elizabeth City
Call 252/333-1003

• Quality Inn ($80)
522 South Hughes Blvd., Elizabeth City
Call 252/338-3951

Note: Video crews may be interested to know the building housing the first newspaper to report on the Wright brothers' historic flight is at 106 East Main Street in Elizabeth City. The North Carolinian Building is now home to attorney William T. Davis. Coincidentally, an antique shop in the neighboring Southern Hotel has a Ron Paul sign in the window. This locale steeped in aviation history would make a great backdrop for an intro into the historic Ron Paul blimp launch.

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