© 2023 Airport Experience® News​

ARN News Flash

HMSHost Expands at MSP
HMSHost Corporation opened four new restaurants at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) recently. One noteworthy restaurant is French Meadow Bakery & Café©, a 4,300 sq. ft. facility featuring an on-site bakery and the first to offer organic foods with wines and spirits. Other locally recognized concepts such as, Locanda D’Amico and Ike’s as well as the national brand Rock Bottom Restaurant, have been added as well to the MSP program.

HMSHost has also won a 13-year contract at Providence, Rhode Island’s T.F. Green (PVD). This program includes a 5,100 sq. ft. food court and nine new food and beverage offerings.

A featured restaurant in this program is the Providence Oyster Bar, which is slated to open this September. The restaurant is one of only four in Rhode Island to receive the Award of Excellence accolade from Distinguished Restaurants of North America.

The program will also include a Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

Construction is commencing on a 5,100 square-foot food court, which will include Famous Famiglia and retro hamburger diner Johnny Rockets. HMSHost will also open a News Express this summer in the Main Terminal Baggage Claim.

HMSHost Names Three Industry Executives
In related news…HMSHost Corporation announced the appointment of three new executives to vice president positions at its global headquarters in Bethesda, MD:
Greg Bushnell has been named vice president of Design and Construction and will be charged with executing the design and construction projects for all HMSHost airport and motorway locationsnationwide. Bushnell previously served as head of Design and Construction at the Ruby Tuesday Corporation, where he managed the construction of approximately 50 new street side casual dining restaurants each year.

Kevin Erickson has been appointed vice president of BusinessDevelopment for the Southeast region of North America. He will be responsible for new business development and managing key client relations in theSoutheast region of the United States. Erickson formerly served as Vice President of Business Development, Design and Construction for Foodbrand LLC, a subsidiary of the Mills Corporation.

James Schmitz is the new vice president of Merchandise and Concepts. He will direct all product selection for HMSHost’s merchandise categories as well as the company’s retail merchandise strategy. Schmitz brings experience from Starboard Cruise Services, a division of the global luxury goods company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, where he served as Vice President of Merchandising, Planning and Distribution.
Trofie Teams with Avila Retail at DIA
Trofie has joined with Avila Retail to open a fully stocked newsstand in the new Denver Regional Jet Facility in Terminal B on April 2. “Ninety percent of the store’s merchandise will be periodicals–this is a true newsstand–and the clients wanted to ensure that the fixtures would display the maximum number of copies in the space allocated,” says Christine Crowley who has been working since October, 2006 on the design of the newsstand.

In addition to magazine and book bays, the newsstand’s design includes a 28-pocket cash wrap, newspaper and book promotion gondola, magazine spinner, posters, light boxes and ViaTrofie digital media plasma screens. Trofie, as category manager, has created the chain’s authorized magazine and book list. Sales are expected to exceed $1 million annually.

Trofie is a marketing and advertising firm for specialty retailers, bookstores and newsstands, resorts, casinos, airport concessionaires and national retail chains. Avila is an airport concessionaire with gift stores in Albuquerque, Denver and Phoenix. Avila will

SSP Acquires Compass’ YYZ Brands
Select Service Partner (SSP) has agreed to acquire all of the assets in Toronto Lester B Pearson International (YYZ) from Compass Group Canada. The deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of this month, will add around C$28 million in revenues to SSP’s North American business.

The acquisition will also enhance SSP’s current brand portfolio, bringing names such as Canada’s number one coffee brand Tim Horton’s, Yogen Fruz, Pizza Pizza and Coyote Jack’s. Many of these brands, operated under franchise agreements, can be found at the airport’s new terminal one. In total, over 15 branded units, in both terminal one and terminal three, will offer customers a variety of offers from fast food and grab-n-go concepts to full service restaurants, including Caffé¨ Ritazza, Upper Crust and TGI Friday’s.

“This latest deal is a significant development in SSP’s plans for expansion in North America,” says Andrew Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of SSP. “With the acquisition of this exciting business in Toronto, we are delighted to have further consolidated our position in a market that offers major opportunities for growth.”

SmarteCarte Returns to MCO
SmarteCarte has announced it will once again offer its baggage cart service at Orlando International (MCO) after a five year absence. SmarteCarte was selected as the successful bidder by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) after submitting their bid in August 2006.

Operations began earlier this month, just in time to make spring break and travel a little easier. SmarteCarte expects the demand for carts to be high at MCO given the high volume of families passing through the airport on their way to the region’s many attractions.

Twelve hundred baggage carts are available for rent from 70 dispensing units located in the baggage claim, ground transportation, parking, rental car, ticketing and ticketing curbside areas. Travelers can rent a cart, which accommodates luggage of all sizes, keep it with them as long as they need it and take it anywhere they need to go in the landside terminal area of the airport. Carts can be returned to any cart dispensing unit at the airport for a $0.25 refund.

To make the rental process even more convenient, all cart dispensing units allow travelers to use cash or a major credit card for cart rental. Credit card transactions are faster and more convenient, and travelers appreciate the advantage of having a record of cart rental charges.

Potbelly Sandwich Works Expands in Airports
From its humble beginnings as a small antique store on Chicago’s north side, Potbelly has grown from one to more than 140 company-owned and -operated stores, on the street and now in airports. The concept recently opened at Reagan National, adding to its Dulles International (IAD) and Midway International (MDW) locations.

Potbelly’s unique experience is defined by its combination of hot sandwiches, hand-dipped shakes, live local music, as well as friendly and interactive people. People in search of a Potbelly sandwich can find stores in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

SAN Scores High in 2006 Passenger Satisfaction Survey
San Diego International Airport (SAN) had a significant increases in its Overall Passenger Satisfaction scores in 2006, according to a survey conducted for the airport by Phoenix Marketing’s Travel Research Group. More than eight out of ten passengers (83%) in 2006 gave SAN an Overall Satisfaction score of “4” or “5” (using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 equals “very dissatisfied” and 5 equals “very satisfied”). In 2005, this number was 75%.

“This is a very high score for an airport. We have been tracking passenger satisfaction at SAN for three years now. They have always been a high performing airport, but their scores for 2006 are especially high,” said Scott Ludwigsen, Executive Vice President of the Travel Research Group at Phoenix Marketing International. “Phoenix Marketing International has gathered data at over 30 airports in the United States in 2006 and, in comparison, we historically observe that approximately 60% of the passengers give an average airport a satisfaction score of 4 or 5.”

A total of 800 SAN passengers were randomly selected and interviewed January through December, 2006. Each interview was conducted “face to face” and all days of the week were covered, as well as the most busy travel times during the day at the airport. Passengers were asked to judge SAN on such aspects of service as: getting to the terminal, service at the ticket counter, service at security checkpoints, terminal facilities, gate area, food and beverage, retail, bag delivery, and leaving the airport.