Riverton’s unique airport terminal
April 14, 2006
by Betty Lye
Several airports that we visit in our travel by plane have different styles of promoting their area, or trying to make their terminals attractive. In Chicago O’Hare, they have flashing neon lights in the ceiling, in a rather darkened area, while Denver International Airport is very noticeable from the air, with its white wings, sort of like Australia’s Opera House. At least, that is what it reminds me of.
As I have watched travelers come into the air terminal at Riverton, it has been with a smile on my face, noticing their attention to the ceiling and walls of the terminal. Some are astounded, some with mouths agape, and especially the students who come to Lander to participate in outdoor leadership training.
They have probably never been in a rural-type terminal and seem to be amazed at the animals around the terminal.
Bob Wilezewski, an avid outdoor hunter, and owner of Two-Day Corporation went to the City Council after the air terminal was built, and asked if he and other hunters could display their trophy animals in the airport rather than in a museum. He felt they would have more exposure, and, in keeping with Wyoming’s hunting tradition, only display Wyoming wildlife.
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Wilezewski willingly explained the different displays. He said he did a little sculpture work as a hobby, and helped other hunters with their displays. Among the other displays are Jim Woodard’s and Stuart Shepherd’s moose, Bill Rouse’s black bear, Howard Johnson’s elk and mountain goat, Mike Thompson’s Big Horn sheep, Mel Gustin’s mountain lion, and Mickey Asbell’s grizzly bear. Other hunters’ displays of goose, pheasant, turkey and crane are also on display. They are all arranged to present a striking display. Bob also explained that wildlife will be updated as needed.
The elk, moose, and deer heads are right above the baggage claim area, so they are viewed by many people using the terminal. Airport cafe personnel tell of people bringing friends and relatives to the restaurant to eat so they can show off the air terminal’s uniqueness.
In addition to the taxidermied animals, a replica of a dinosaur leg from the Dinosaur Center located in Thermopolis graces the terminal. Brunton Co. has a display of knives and compasses in keeping with the hunting theme in Wyoming.
At the other end of the terminal, the city of Riverton has a display showing things that contribute to the local economy of the area such as oil wells, farming, and the Wind River Indian Reservation.
If you want to see a really unique air terminal, take a trip to Riverton’s Airport.