The ArkanSTOL Ozark Backwoods Challenge, a favorite among the STOL community, announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2024 that the event will not take place in 2024, and will resume in 2025.
Known for its picturesque setting and advanced course, the event attracts the most skilled and well-known backcountry pilots on the North American continent. The announcement came as a shock to the community, revealing the ArkanSTOL team's recognition of the need for recalibration to ensure a robust future for the event.
The "Ozark Backwoods Challenge" has evolved from a campfire idea into truly a one-of-a-kind aviation gathering that exceeded all expectations of the founding members. The decision to pause the event in 2024 stems from a commitment to developing a more sustainable growth model and allowing the team to regroup effectively.
In a statement in the press release, the team acknowledged the incredible support received from volunteers, organizers, sponsors, pilots, vendors, and spectators over the past four years. The ArkanSTOL family has grown into a vibrant aviation community, and the team is excited to continue the journey with Byrd’s Adventure Center; indicating the intention of future plans.
Notably, ArkanSTOL was the first in the industry to utilize the newly developed STOLNation registration software capabilities. Anitra Goddard, STOLNation founder, expresses her gratitude to the team for being open to this new technology. Having had the honor of announcing for the 2023 ArkanSTOL event, and working closely with the ArkanSTOL Staff & Volunteers, Goddard understands the significance of the decision but still shares in the disappointment felt by the aviation community in learning of the decision.
"Of course, I was a little saddened to learn that ArkanSTOL will be on hold for It's a personal favorite of mine, and many other among the STOL community who plan for it all year. I know the team well enough to know that, for their commitment to the backcountry flying community, they didn’t come to this decision lightly; I’m sure it was a tough call to make.
I fully respect and support their decision. I appreciate the trust they placed in us (STOLNation) and extend my gratitude to the ArkanSTOL team. I’m excited to see how they evolve and what ArkanSTOL 2025 will bring!" stated Anitra Goddard.
While STOL and Backcountry enthusiasts will certainly be anticipating the return of ArkanSTOL in 2025, there's still a silver lining for those who have already made plans and booked reservations for Byrd’s Adventure Center is gearing up to introduce a new aviation event for the same dates, September this year.
Pam & Zen Boulden, owners of Byrd’s Adventure Center, express pride in the accomplishments of ArkanSTOL and invite the community to stay tuned for details about the event in 2024
ArkanSTOL and Byrd’s Adventure Center reaffirm their commitment to creating world-class aviation programs and showcasing the unique skills of backcountry flying in the Ozark Mountains. For more information, visit ArkanSTOL's Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Byrd’s Adventure Center's Website, Facebook.
View The ArkanSTOL Offical Press Release at THIS LINK
In conclusion, while the announcement of ArkanSTOL's pause for the 2024 Ozark Backwoods Challenge has surprised the STOL community, it is understood and respected and we await ArkanSTOL's comeback in 2025!
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