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Vantage Wins $1.5B MCI Concessions Contract

The Kansas City Council on Thursday voted to award a $1.5 billion concessions contract to Vantage Airport Group. The decision came after weeks of discussions and claims of lack of transparency in the award process. The City Council voted 9-2 in favor of approval.

Vantage will invest $65 million in the program and will offer a $20 million opportunity fund and mentoring program, accessible to small, local, minority and ACDBE businesses operating in the terminal. Over the course of the 15-year contract, the program is expected to generate an estimated $1.5 billion in concession sales. Vantage has also committed to opening 100 percent of the concession offering on the first day of terminal operations, expected in March 2023.

“Vantage Airport Group is delighted with today’s City Council vote to approve our proposal to deliver an unparalleled and uniquely Kansas City-inspired concession program at the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport,” said Rob van Snik, senior director, commercial development, and leader of the KCI concessions project. “Our commitment to providing opportunities for local small businesses, inclusion of beloved local brands, minority-owned involvement at every level of the project, and strong partnership with local labor unions will help ensure we deliver a concession program that creates a true sense of place here in Kansas City – one we hope that travelers and local Kansas Citians alike will embrace.”

Vantage partnered with OHM Concession Group on the food and beverage side, and Marshall Retail Group for retail operations. Concessions will be operated under the developer model and will include more than 40 local brands.

Key features of Vantage’s proposal include a commitment to achieving 60 percent participation by ACDBEs, vastly exceeding the project’s stated goal of 16 percent. When complete, 80 percent of the eating and shopping experiences will be local, organized by regionally inspired Kansas City neighborhood zones, including City Market, 18th & Vine, Stockyards, Union Station & Downtown, and Brookside. Vantage said the Kansas City “sense of place” will be achieved with local brands like Made in KC, Bo Lings, Stockyards Brewing, Charlie Hustle, Old World Spices, Bloom Baking Co., Parisi Coffee, City Market Roastery, and more. Community, cultural and media partnerships will further deepen the unique experience at the airport, with partners including The Call Newspaper, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Turn the Page KC, and the American Jazz Museum incorporated into the concession offerings.

“Part of our mission with the new terminal is to provide the highest level in customer service and amenities and convey a sense of place in the Kansas City region,” said Kansas City Director of Aviation Pat Klein. “The Vantage Airport Group plan checks those boxes and more. We are eager to roll up our sleeves and work with Vantage to further improve the new front door to the community for Kansas Citians and our visitors.”