Wing South’s History
Wing South’s history begins in 1971. Wing South’s creator, G. Dewey Polly envisioned a very large aviation community replete with individual villa homes with and without “planeports”, condominium apartment buildings, aircraft storage hangars and several paved aircraft tie-down areas. People close to Polly, at the time, said he spent considerable time and effort researching the viability of an airpark community before he reached his decision to commence with the project.
Polly was already a veteran developer in Collier County when he first conceived Wing South Airpark. Some of his first successes were the real estate developments of Inomah and Naples Manor. George Dewey Polly also operated a sole proprietorship called Dewey Polly Realty. Earlier, in 1952, he built a little AM radio station called WNOG. He sold it three years later… it’s still going strong to this day. Mr. Polly served as a county commissioner, pushing through the name “Alligator Alley”, and spearheading what is now Delnor-Wiggins State Park.
Wing South Development, Ltd. was a limited partnership where-in Naples Inter-Monetary, Inc. (G. Dewey Polly sole stockholder) was the general partner. Wing South Development, Ltd.’s first projects were the runway and the administration building (now known as the clubhouse). Ms. Billie Smith was the head realtor of Wing South Realty, Inc., her office was located in the administration building. Mr. Polly served as the broker for the real estate sales office.
The first house was a model home aptly named the “Pie In The Sky”. Purportedly, the crew showed up to start the foundation and had to contact Billie by telephone to find out where to put it. “Lot number one…next to the runway!”, responded a wonderfully excited Ms. Smith.
The State of Florida issued the Wing South Airpark Condominium its Certificate of Incorporation on July 25, 1972. Ms. Billie Smith was also the condominium’s first vice president. Mr. Polly served as president. B. Clarke Nichols was the association’s first secretary and treasurer.
Timing is everything! Two years after Wing South’s bold beginnings, the nation would be frightened out of its wits by an event called the “Arab oil Embargo”. This artificially induced oil shortage caused not only gas prices to rise, it also helped to increase the inflationary spiral already impacting the country. High interest rates and unemployment soon followed. Gas guzzling cars and twin-engine airplanes were dropping in value… not the best time to sell an esoteric fly-in community. By 1976, President Gerald Ford was still trying to whip inflation, the Alaskan oil pipeline was “full-tilt” under construction and Polly and Smith had sold a respectable amount of Wing South lots but not many homes. The operation would suffer another blow late in 1976 when Mr. George Dewey Polly passed away suddenly and unexpectedly while walking on Wing South’s parking ramp.
Lately, Wing South has been attracting some “newer blood”. They are dedicated to the shear enjoyment of tearing through the ether with wild abandonment. This new group is relentless in their pursuit to make Wing South “abuzz” with as many and varied flying machines as possible! Perhaps that’s why, occasionally, among the cloudscapes, an image resembling George Dewey Polly can be seen serenely smiling down upon Wing South Airpark.