Ep. 123 - Khalia Moore, Senior Manager Airport Dining & Retail, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
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by Airport Experience News
4M ago
A 10-year-old retail kiosk program aimed at providing opportunities for local small or ACDBE-certified retail business owners to test concepts at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is expanding, adding space for food and beverage operators to do the same. Those who pass through SEA’s introductory program, which is largely financed by the airport, can move on to the program’s intermediate level before each side decides whether to make a long-term commitment and investment. Two of the original participants – Seattle Chocolate and Planewear – have graduated to inline stores with full-leng ..read more
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Ep. 122 - Stewart Steeves, COO, Vantage Airport Group
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by Airport Experience News
7M ago
“An airport shouldn’t be a generic institutional place. It should really reflect the spirit and the charms of the local community through its concessions, through its service offerings, through its artwork, through its architecture. That’s something we try to contribute to wherever we go.” Vantage Airport Group has been involved in some of the most visible airport redevelopments in the U.S. in recent years. Along with its partners, it’s putting the finishing touches on the complete rebuild of LaGuardia Airport (LGA), leading the concessions overhaul at Midway International Airport (MDW) and ta ..read more
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Ep. 121 - Tim Harms, CEO, Enliven
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by Airport Experience News
7M ago
“This isn’t lip service. We’re really interested in partnering with all parties and when we get engaged and we start our process, the first thing we want to do is sit down with everyone, get everyone’s interests and concerns on the table. We invite everyone to that conversation.”  Enliven has pouring rights deals at four airports in the U.S. The company’s new CEO, Tim Harms, says several more airports have put into upcoming RFPs language opening the door to additional such deals. While pouring rights deals remain controversial among concessions operators, Harms says Enliven wants to work ..read more
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Ep. 120 - Daniel Robert Gooch, President and CEO, Canadian Airports Council
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by Airport Experience News
1y ago
“It’s more than just funding. The crisis has endured longer in Canada than in the U.S. because you’ve had fewer restrictions and less traffic suppression, generally, as a result.” Canadian airports have faced more restrictions and gotten less help from the federal government throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic. Those factors have led to a slower recovery – they were at about 40% of 2019 traffic in August system-wide -- and forced them to take on large amounts of debt just to maintain operations. While some relief has started flowing through the Canadian aviation system, Gooch says airports ..read more
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Ep. 119 - David Kasprak, Principal and Co-Founder, O’Kelly Kasprak
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by Airport Experience News
1y ago
“We’re going to continue to see more pop-up retail that is a function of the ability to be flexible. … That flexibility is going to be something that continues to develop, much like you would find in the retail world outside of airports.”  As operations return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, airports need to find ways for people to congregate differently than they have in the past. They are showing open-mindedness to change, from repurposing previously unused space, such as moving walkways, into long, narrow restaurant and retail space to increasing the ..read more
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Ep. 118 - Todd Hauptli, President and CEO, American Association of Airport Executives
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by Airport Experience News
1y ago
“Airports need to … tell their story, make sure their elected representatives understand what these local projects are in their communities, the jobs they create, the sustainability angle, the resiliency.”  A coalition of aviation industry participants worked together with airport lobbying organizations to win $20 billion in relief funds from Congress. That’s likely the extent of what Congress will provide in relief. Now, industry leaders have turned their attention toward infrastructure funding. President Biden has proposed a $2.3 trillion bill and airports have significant needs, as the ..read more
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Ep. 117 - Rob Wigington, Executive Director, Airport Restaurant & Retail Association
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by Airport Experience News
1y ago
“Even under the best of circumstances we don’t expect that traffic is going to get back, certainly not this year and probably not in 2022, to levels that are needed to sustain the airports and concessionaires.”  Passenger counts are increasing, which provides reason for optimism, but they’re far from back to a level that can sustain airports and operators. So, while nearly $1 billion in federal aid for concessions since COVID-19 devastated the industry is welcome relief, it doesn’t mean the Airport Restaurant & Retail Association and other organizations won’t ultimately have to go bac ..read more
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Ep. 116 - Stephen Van Beek, Director & Head of North American Aviation, Steer
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by Airport Experience News
1y ago
“Once we’re sort of back to some sense of normalcy we’re going to see a huge bump in economic activity, and then maybe [with] a little bit of a lag, in travel. That’s exactly what happened 100 years ago when the 1919 pandemic ended.”  President Joe Biden faces several aviation-related challenges as he begins his term. They range from finding a way to pay for long-overdue infrastructure improvements in a time when the sources that traditionally fund those projects are significantly down to promoting competition between airlines and ensuring that air service to small communities d ..read more
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Ep. 115 - Justin Meyer & David Long, City of Kansas City Aviation Department
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by Airport Experience News
1y ago
“We thought combining everything into one contract would provide the flexibility the financial markets would look for in order to help finance the project.” – David Long, deputy director of aviation overseeing properties and commercial development.  The city of Kansas City is moving forward with plans for the concessions program inside the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport (MCI). An RFP will be on the street in mid-January. Whether it results in a single operator running the entire program or a dozen operators splitting the space, the proposal ..read more
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Ep. 114 - Sam Whitehorn, Principal & Co-Founder, Elevate Government Affairs
AXiNsider by Airport Experience® News
by Airport Experience News
1y ago
“We’re anticipating money for airports …There have been no details yet, but we are anticipating a robust infrastructure package.” This episode is an update to our pre-election conversation with Sam Whitehorn, episode 112 released on October 29, 2020. The election is, well, likely almost over. Most of the prominent races that featured candidates with a history of supporting transportation funding were won by the incumbent candidate. The election of Joe Biden likely means negotiations with Congress will be at least a bit calmer over the next four years. And, even if the Georgia Senate run-offs i ..read more
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