The Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn


The Knife & Fork



Breakfast Club Visits Parker, Blue Water Resort & Casino



10 Jan 2004
by Warren McIlvoy

The Breakfast Club event to Parker, Arizona and the Blue Water Resort and Casino, kicked-off the second decade of our monthly fly-in events. And what a kick-off it was! With more than 50 participants enjoying one of the most beautiful flying days of the month, the beginning of the 11th year was by any measure, a resounding success. Is Parker the tourist Mecca of Arizona? It's a bit puzzling as to why we had such a great turn-out but one could say that the weather was "as good as it gets " and maybe, throw-in for good measure, some pent-up flying urges that were quashed due to the holidays. Anyway that you want to slice it, the turn-out was a bit overwhelming.

After announcing our intentions in the blind in the Luke Alert Area, and monitoring our group flight following frequency of 123.45, I could almost get a sense of something happing because I could here reports from people that have not been with us for a while. Once out of the Alert Area, I chimed-in with our report. We had departed on time but I could almost determine that we were well back in the pack. As I neared Parker and listening-in on the unicom frequency, it was becoming very apparent that we would have a tremendous attendance. The position reports were now coming in staccato fashion as the
Breakfast Club aircraft were meshing into the pattern like the gears of a fine Swiss watch.

By the time that I has shut-down on the ramp, parking was becoming quite spread-out and there were more aircraft on the way. Upon exiting the aircraft, it was obvious that we would not need our jackets as the sun was warming the air (and our spirits) like a spring day. I donned my camera to get some shots of the folks who had gathered into small groups on the ramp as we waited the arrival of the last of our group. One of our members, Chuck & Irene Graves, has a mobile home just up the river from the airport and they had volunteered to supplement the airport shuttle service with their van, to the
Blue Water Resort and Casino. The ramp was becoming quite crowded with Breakfast Club attendees and it was decided to start shuttling our folks to the Casino rather than waiting for the "tail-end turtles" to arrive.

As it turned-out, the Casino is only about a mile and a half from the airport so the task of shuttling everyone to the Casino, did not take an inordinate amount of time and effort.
The Blue Water Resort and Casino is set back from the highway by about 150 yards (give or take), so it did not appear to be anything out of the ordinary. But as we disembarked the vans and entered the main lobby, that assumption was soon vanquished. The main floor had the usual array of slot machines with other types of gaming available in smaller side rooms. The dinning area called The Feast Buffet, was to our left and further into the casino. With a crowd of our size, it was not possible to seat us together but we did, in some cases, have 8-10 people at a single table. It was interesting to note that, upon entering the dinning area, that you did not pay before getting seated. I am guessing that the casino operators believe that you had not quite lost everything at the slots and that you still had a few coins to pay for your meal. Trusting souls aren't they!

At the serving line, one could get custom-made omelets as well as the usual breakfast fare including French toast, biscuits and gravy, breakfast meats, and the "All American", oatmeal. There was another line that provided an assortment of pastries and fresh fruits. Since our group was scattered to all corners of the dining area, I started the sign-up sheet and tried to give directions as to where it should go next.

After breakfast, it was time to scout-out the place. Some of our group had been here on precious occasions and they added suggestions regarding what needed to be checked-out. The west end of the building is dominated by a five story atrium that encompassed the indoor swimming area. The upper level of the "pool" area featured a series of winding wading areas that terminated in a twisting, winding, water slide that got you to the lower level. The lower level encompassed  the main pool area where the water slide spate you out, a smaller children's wading pool, and a hot tub that was along the window wall. All-in-all, a very impressive recreation area. I summoned the elevator to the lower level so that I could explore the lured of the exterior grounds.

Once outside, I took-in the grandeur of the Casino. The center core section was flanked on either side by a five story tier of hotel rooms; all with private balconies facing the Colorado River. There was a rather large marina, actually, 164 slips, that was, except for one boat, completely vacant. I understand that this is not the case in the summer season. I followed the walk around to the north side of the marina and came upon what was most likely a refreshment and convenience store called The River's Edge Cantina, to service the marina area. Further to the north was a "band shell" where concerts are held during the summer season. After taking some photos, I reversed my steps to the hotel/casino and took the elevator back to the fourth floor. Just out of curiosity, I inquired at the hotel desk regarding the room rates. Contrary to most Arizona resorts and hotels, their low or "off" season is during the winter months and a room could be had for something in the $70 range. However, during the summer months, they are in the $140 range. Remind me to bring my tent!

Some of the group felt that it would be appropriate to make cash donations to the Indian economy by testing their luck at the slots. As I understand, all but one person was successful in making that contribution. After extracting my wife (no, she was not the lone winner) from the slots, we rejoined Chuck for his van ride back to the airport. With the weather being so pleasant, there were people still milling around the ramp enjoying the opportunity to converse with friends and new acquaintances. While walking back to the airport office for the mandatory "pit stop", I noticed two folks that looked like locals working on a very small kit build aircraft. I inquired of them about how many turns of the rubber band that it would take to get it off the ground. One of two gentlemen turned and addressed me by name. I did not recognize him at first but there was something familiar about his face. He reminded me that his name was Ron Kilber. Then all sort of lights came on. The last time that I had seen him was on our first
Breakfast Club event to Nogales when he came with Don Downin (BC-10). Ron wrote a story for Avweb the related his experiences as part of a group that delivered a vintage, restored, DC-3 to an air museum in Holland. At that fly-in, Ron regaled our group with a few tidbits of that adventure.

To soon it was time to load-up and head home. The flight home was every bit as smooth as the morning's flight had been. There was a slight 8-10 headwind but the weather was so nice, no one really cared. We met a lot of old friends and enjoy phenomenal weather; it just doesn't get any better than this.

The Parker Gang

  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 4544X, BC-1
  • Richard Azimov and Jordan Ross in 6864Q, BC-2 & BC-11
  • Brant & Linda Saperstein in 739GJ
  • Arv Schultz and Luke Seabrook in 739GJ
  • Glen Yoder and Paul Wright in 31TC, BC-007
  • Keith & Barbara Althopff in 375RB
  • Ed and Scott McMahan in 2433B, BC-33
  • Joe Stockwell in 258C, BC-22
  • Garrett Dauphars in 1841H
  • Larry Berger and Alan Lipak in 8086K
  • Steve Bass and Bob Dameron in 3505R
  • Roger & Joanna Pries in 13806
  • Richard Spiegel, Nana Shore, Dolly Petersen, and Paul Fortune in 901KA, BC-3 and BC-201
  • Harold & Annette DarcAngelo in320HD, BC32
  • Chuck & Irene Graves in 944G, BC-44
  • Cliff Rosch in 121CR
  • Jim Nelson, Lisa Orr, and Jake Boweu in 1718H, BC-310
  • Trent Heidtke, Tim Yoder, and Ramona Yoder in 4638W, BC-112
  • Curt & Cindy Browning in 8287D, BC-008
  • Roger Whittier and Travis Whittier in 706CD
  • Charles Huffman, Terri Huffman, and Gary Huffman in 5548R
  • Marvin & Maxine Horn in 26MH
  • Ron Smith in 64RS
  • Ed & Maryanne Hamilton in 30357
  • Jon Miller and ???

I would like to extend a hardy and enthusiastic thank you to Chuck & Irene Graves in helping to shuttle the
Breakfast Club gang to the casino.  We have not seen them in a while and it was sure nice to meet up with them again.

What's Next?

The February Breakfast Club event will see us making an encore visit to Tempe Bar (U30). The March event will see us returning to a favorite, Borrego Springs and the La Casa Del Zorro Resort. We are planning on dinning in the Rose Garden if the weather is favorable. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.

Click on the Parker link to view photos of this fly-in event.