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"Sonny Bono Concourse added to Palm Springs airport"

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Sonny Bono Concourse added to Palm Springs airport
The Associated Press

PALM SPRINGS - The Sonny Bono Concourse was added Tuesday to the Palm
Springs International Airport, joining a stretch of highway known as the
Sonny Bono Memorial Freeway and other namesakes.

Bono, one half of the 1960s singing duo Sonny and Cher, was the area's
congressman until he died in a 1998 skiing accident.

Earlier this year, officials designated a 40-mile stretch of Interstate
10 as Bono's memorial freeway. The section runs from just west of the
Highway 111 cutoff near Palm Springs to Dillon Road in the Coachella

Downtown, there's a life-size statue of Bono, who once served as Palm
Springs mayor. A wildlife refuge at the Salton Sea also is named after

"He opened a whole door to help focus on tourism and entertainment,"
said airport commissioner Bert Engelhardt. He said Bono was instrumental
in several phases of the airport's development.

Rep. Mary Bono, R-Palm Springs, said her late husband saw the potential
in Palm Springs to become a destination for international visitors.

"He really wanted to create a tourist-like village," said Bono, who
married Glenn Baxley in November 2001.

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