Published in Midwest Flyer – April/May 2019 issue
ISLE, MINN. – The annual Iceport fly-in on Lake Mille Lacs in north central Minnesota was held with great success, despite the need to change the location from Twin Pines Resort in Garrison, Minn., on the northwest end of the lake, to Mac’s Twin Bay Resort in Isle, Minn., on the southeast end of the lake, due to rough ice conditions at Twin Pines Resort. Mac’s Twin Bay Resort went all out to plow a 4100 X 100 ft. runway, and it was reported to be smooth!
Mark Lee Priglmeier of Create Lift Aviation in Sauk Rapids, Minn., organizes the event, purely to share his love of off-airport flying.
“I just want to get people utilizing their airplanes by providing events that are as safe as they can be, considering the environment…ice,” said Priglmeier.
For Priglmeier, off-airport flying started when he was just a child and his father landed his Cherokee 140 where they lived on the Mississippi River. “My dad, an airplane, a frozen river…how cool is that?”
Priglmeier continued: “I thrive on building wonderful relationships with the resorts and aviators alike. I want to teach everyone all I know about how to be safe, garner the respect of the resorts, and to be a courteous flyer. I don’t want to be in the spotlight…I just want to give people a reason to fly and socialize. It’s not a commercial thing…It is not a revenue venture…It is about my goal for the rest of my life – to be surrounded by honest, good people, and to thoroughly enjoy what I do. I am doing just that.”
Priglmeier sets up flying events year-round. It is just that winter and ice is his passion.
“I would especially like to thank Mac’s Twin Bay Resort for doing such a fantastic job plowing us a beautiful iceway and parking area,” said Priglmeier. “And wow! A huge applause goes out to the fine staff at Da Boathouse restaurant. What a great breakfast buffet!” Priglmeier went on to thank the event sponsor, Tanis Aircraft, for their donation of door prizes, the volunteers on the flight-line, and the pilots who flew some 75 airplanes to the fly-in this year.
The go/no-go decision to hold the Iceport fly-in is not decided until the last minute. In 2016, the fly-in was cancelled due to unfavorable ice conditions.
Follow Facebook.com/CreateLift for event details and updates on Iceport 2020.