He leased hangar space at an airstrip outside Portland, Oregon, mostly to corporations.
But travel was one of the first items to get cut once everyone's earnings got squeezed, he says.
Hoffman was hit head-on.
"I started seeing everything go to hell in a hand basket," he told Business Insider in an interview. "It turned out to be desperation. Seeing everything fold around you, companies that never go away start going away."
But while his personal finances were swamped, he saw opportunity based on what he was happening in Washington: As the government agreed to flood markets with cash, the price of gold would go up.