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Page 91
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
W. H
Chapter 4
What he told me was far from news.
He said their little group of aviation en-
thusiasts couldn't find an investor willing to
come up to the table with forty-seven point
three million. He hinted they had a few nib-
bles, a Mr.Moneybags who came this close,
but dodged biting the hook. They'd used up
most of their 90-day option looking for fund-
ing and now saw their option money, about
twenty thousand in total, slipping away. They'd
worked hard, no doubt, had spoken with air-
port engineers, runway designers, federal
agencies, local politicians, and more aging
landowners and families than they cared to
admit. They also had rattled a few banker
doors, half expecting, by the look on Rick's
face, that the logic of their proposal would
lead to a long line of financiers clamoring for
a piece of the action. That didn't happen.
Rick half turned and took a casual, calcu-
lated look at me. "Do you have any interest?"
"Any interest in what?" I asked.
Dayle and Tre remained eerily silent.
Rick said, "Investing, I suppose. Funding the
"We're looking for a loan, basically," he said.
"A loan?"
"We can pay a good rate of interest."
"On forty-seven point three million?"
"We don't need it all at once. A little over
two million now. Another twelve, thirteen mil-
lion by the end of the first year."
I had the cash flow spreadsheet in front
of me. Anticipated cash from investors (me
apparently) ran $14.8 million for year one,
$19.2 for year two, $5.0 for year three, $1.3
for year four, and around a million a year for
the next seven years--all coming to a total of
$47.3 million.
"And for all that risk, I get a good interest
rate and no conrol?" I asked.
Rick shot the others a micro-glance and
nodded at me as if the thought just came to
him. "We might be open to a partnership."
"I'm not big on partnerships," I said. "The
only thing I like less than handing over a brief-
case full of money is having no say in how
that money is spent." I told all of them that
I'm not a partner guy. If my money's in the
project then I want to design it my way and
build it my way. Was that so wrong? I didn't
want endless meetings and discussions and,
heaven forbid, a vote on which way to go. I
didn't want to ask anyone's permission.
"I see," Rick said.
"On the other hand," I said, "if you want to
toss the project my way, I may be interested."
"The entire project, without our involve-
ment, you mean?"
"That's right," I said. "I'll pay a commission
on the sale of the airport and the Adams prop-
erty and close soon enough so everyone gets
their option money back. A project of this size
will take a lot of time and money. I have no in-
tention of stepping on anyone's toes. That said,
if you want me to, I'll try and make a go of it.
But I won't do it without your permission."
The three men sipped their Dr. Peppers
and stared at each other, and without any
more discussion they'd come to a decision.
Rick held up his empty bottle, and he looked
to me like a man with great weight lifted off
his shoulders. "You mind if I get another one
of these."