Local helicopter tour company hit by vandalism, reward offered

Some Ivins residents are opposing purported plans by Sentierre resort to land helicopters within city limits. Helicopter on landing pad, Hurricane, Utah, undated | File photo, St. George News

HURRICANE — Vandals struck a Hurricane helicopter tour business office sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, damaging the building, two business vehicles and the helicopter.

“(The) helicopter is destroyed and will cost me over $250k in damages and lost income,” Zion Helicopters owner Paul Budge said in a Saturday afternoon text to St. George News.

Zion Helicopters is now offering a $10,000 reward to anyone with information about the vandals, he said.

“At approximately 9 a.m. today (Saturday), officers received a report of vandalism at Zion Helicopter,” Hurricane Police Sgt. Brandon Buell said in a press release. “Investigators found what is believed to be approximately $80,000 to $100,000 of damage done.”

The vandals apparently used rocks to cause the damage, breaking windows and damaging the vehicles and the helicopter.

Zion Helicopters takes passengers on flights around Zion National Park and other Southern Utah sites.

The investigation is ongoing in this incident. Any information regarding this vandalism should be directed to the Hurricane City Police Department at telephone 435-627-4999.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

UPDATED 6:45 p.m. to include comments from the owner of Zion Helicopters.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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1 Comment

  • Sapphire March 28, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Not condoning the destruction of their property at all, but the operators drive us nuts flying their copters low over our homes and maybe someone was fed up. They have plenty of open fields and BLM land to enter and exit their pad and yet insist on violating our privacy in the nearby housing tracts. I do not appreciate going out in my private back yard in a robe and having an idiot in his helicopter hover directly overhead. Also a couple months ago a local small plane barely cleared our roofs and scared us to death, and that wasn’t the first time. These pilots are rude and their copters/planes are noisy. I don’t know why the city doesn’t pay attention to this.

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