by Micah Powell, Mayor, Eloy
As this edition of the Golden Corridor LIVING is titled Leaders in Business, I can’t think of anyone or any family that has done more for Eloy than the Hill Family. They have single-handedly put Eloy on the skydiving map, not only in the U.S. but internationally.
In 1986, Larry Hill and his wife Liliane started out in the skydive business, and in 1991 moved their operations to the Eloy Municipal Airport. Skydive AZ is one of the three largest drop zones in the United States and annually hosts thousands of amateur and professional skydivers. The facility is a training mecca for military paratroopers throughout the U.S. armed services, as well as our international allies.
According to a recent economic development analysis, the Eloy Municipal Airport has 15 employers representing 191 airport jobs. It creates almost $26 million in annual economic benefits for Eloy and the region.
This economic impact is a direct result of the Hill’s commitment to the area, the facilities, and passion for all things related to aviation and parachuting.
Today, Skydive AZ is operated by the Hill family — Shawn, Steve, and Wendy. They currently are preparing for the United States Parachute Association National Championships Oct. 15 to Oct 30.
Skydive AZ has grown into an oasis with plenty of turf, a swimming pool, and trees in the midst of the Sonoran desert. Around the central building, which houses offices, aircraft manifesting, classrooms, and an indoor parachute packing area, one can find everything a skydiver needs. Equipment sales, food, a shower, and laundry facility, grassy camping area, a recreation hall with bunks for overnight guests, and a basketball court are some of the many amenities.
At the World Championship event in 2019, the City hosted a Mayor’s reception for team captains and event officials. Seventeen nations were represented and most of them commented on how much they loved using the facility built by the Hills. It seems that Eloy is better known in places like France, Qatar and Germany than here in the Southwest!
I would like to cordially invite you to come out and watch the many events at the 2021 USPA National Championships. If you see a member of the Hill family, please take the time to say “Hi” and thank them for putting us on the skydiving map!
For a complete schedule of events, go to: Championships2021.com.
Photo: Joss Martin