Sun 'N Fun planes fill Bay Area airports

- Sun 'N Fun had a banner day for attendance on Friday, and expects an overall record-breaking year.

Organizers said they were prepared for 225,000 visitors, but now organizers think they may get more.

Even though Sun 'N Fun is based in Lakeland, that's a big plus for all of Polk County. Many Sun 'N Fun visitors keep their planes at surrounding airports, then commute to the fly in.

"We fill the tarmac," said Peggy Preston, whose business, Preston Aviation, is based at Gilbert Field, Winter Haven's Municipal Airport. "We fill the south side. We fill the north side."

"You can see the planes are parked over on the grass over there," Preston said as she pointed behind her.

Sun 'N Fun said it has an estimated economic impact of $137 million for the one-week fly-in. While most of it stays with the nonprofit organization, a percentage goes to nearby airports in Winter Haven, Bartow and Plant City.

Visitors pay to park their planes, rent motel rooms and eat at restaurants.

Doug and Sharon Allen, who just flew in from California, may have another way to drop some dough.

"I'll probably talk him into finding me an antiques store or two," Sharon told FOX 13 News.

The fly-in runs through Sunday.

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