McCarran International (LAS) took a step last week toward becoming the first airport in the U.S. to install a liquor store in its baggage-claim area.
Clark County commissioners voted 6-0 to allow the airport to release a request for proposals for the store, which Airport Director Randy Walker says could generate between $400,000 and $600,000 annually.
Those funds would allow the airport to offset fees to airlines.
“Anything we can do to reduce the cost to the carriers and encourage them to bring more traffic to the community certainly helps all the community,” he says.
Commissioner Steve Sisolak was the lone board member to raise significant issues with the proposal. He expressed concern that people who purchase alcohol at the store could become unruly around families and tourists if they were consuming their beverages by the baggage claim or taxi stands.
“Who is responsible for maintaining order if that would be the case?” he asked.
Sisolak originally had proposed holding the item for a month while pursuing more information. When his colleagues expressed support for allowing airport staff to pursue the RFP, he withdrew his proposal.
Walker tried to ease his concerns saying he’d had discussions with the airport’s police captain. He also indicated that putting an RFP on the street doesn’t guarantee a baggage-claim liquor store will ever be built.
“What we’re trying to do here is go out and have an RFP to see if there are interested parties,” Walker says. “We wouldn’t just want any kind of operation there. It would have to be a first-class operation.”
It’s also not something that would happen in the next couple of months. Spokeswoman Elaine Sanchez says airport officials still need to complete research, write the RFP and seek board approval of the document before moving forward.
“It all depends on the board,” she says. “It’s very fluid.”
Footage of the meeting can be found at: clark.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=1774.