Stars land on tarmac |

Stars land on tarmac

With more than 75 celebrities flocking to South Lake Tahoe this weekend for the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, the Lake Tahoe Airport has been the first to meet and greet the stars.

“We’ve been busier than usual,” said airport manager Rick Jenkins. “(The tournament) benefits the community since (the celebrities) come in to use the lodging and all the different things available around town.”

Jenkins said there have been no noise complaints from the increased plane traffic, and the general aviation pilots don’t seem to mind sharing their airways.

Although the airport is equipped to handle the traffic of the multi-million dollar eight- to 14-passenger business jets, Jenkins said some planes simply dropped off their celebrity passengers and flew away, as was the case with Michael Jordan.

In addition to Jordan, Mindy Johnke, Oasis Aviation manager, saw Mario Lemieux, Chris Webber, Maury Povich and John Elway, who arrived early last week.

“They all have been very cordial and look happy to be in Lake Tahoe,” Johnke said. “We try not to bug them too much since they’re going to spend the whole weekend being surrounded by media and fans.”

Johnke said the tournament has been beneficial for Oasis and the airport, since the airport receives a percentage of every gallon of fuel Oasis sells.

Johnke said gas sales have tripled.

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