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Wind Tunnel May Blow Into Hoke County

Posted January 17, 2007
Updated June 18, 2010

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— What’s billed as the largest recreational wind tunnel in the world could be blowing into Hoke County soon, but some neighbors hope that plan changes direction.

Businessman Tim D'Annunzio said wants to bring a wind tunnel similar to SkyVenture Colorado in suburban Denver. However, the one he’s planning would be even bigger.

"I just think from a business standpoint, it would very successful,” D'Annunzio said.

D'Annunzio said the wind tunnel could be used for paratrooper training for Fort Bragg, or just for fun.

“I'm selfish,” he said. “I'm a skydiver. My background is in skydiving."

The venture would be called Paraclete XP, and its proposed location is along U.S. Highway 401 near the Cumberland County line.

But neighbors have said they fear the wind tunnel would whip up a whirl of noise. They also said a wind tunnel could send their property values into a free fall.

“The wind tunnel is not exactly wanted in this neighborhood,” said Susan Ekstrom, who lives in the Quail Hollow community. “(The fear is) that the wind tunnel will bring a lot of unwanted attention into the neighborhood.

Last month, D'Annunzio chartered a jet to send two Hoke County commissioners, the county manager and other county officials to see and hear the Colorado wind tunnel for themselves. He said he wasn't trying to win the county's favor by providing a trip.

"It's not like we sent them out there and they spent a week out there skiing in Colorado and they just went by and saw the tunnel,” he said. “They went out there for nothing but seeing the tunnel."

Commissioners will have their final vote Monday night. If approved, the wind tunnel could be operating by June.

3 Comments

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  • bowlermike300 Jan 18, 2007

    I DONT GET IT? WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THUGS AND WIND TUNNELS

  • no screen name Jan 17, 2007

    I don't get it. Do wind tunnels bring in thugs to the neighborhood?

  • superman Jan 17, 2007

    I am sure thats true-- they just went out to see the wind tunnel-- but they did have to eat. They sleep in tents or a nice luxury hotel? I be happy to go out sometime to look at the wind tunnel. How many people would you like to go out and look at it?