Fort Smith Airport restaurant contract approved

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 131 views 

The Fort Smith Regional Airport Commission approved extension of the Runway Cafe contract Tuesday night (April 24) at its regularly scheduled meeting.

The operators of the airport terminal restaurant were set for non-renewal until December 2011 when commissioners revisited the contract.

On Dec. 20, 2011, the Airport Commission approved a four-month extension to keep the Runway Cafe open. Under the agreement, should the restaurant lessees earn below $10,000 for a one-month period, they would keep all gross revenues. Earning more than the $10,000 would mean the Airport claims 7.5% of gross.

Airport Executive Director John Parker said the contract that will serve out the rest of 2012 will remain the same. He said sales “have remained the same since December.”

The operators had previously planned on walking away at the start of January 2012. Now they will continue.

Previous requests for proposal (RFP) attempts met with no interest in the location. Faced with the possibility of closing the operation, commissioners proved unwilling.

“We really need to provide a service here,” Commissioner M. Scott Archer said in December. “We’ve got this nice airport, nice terminal. The public is used to walking into a nice place, and we need something unique here to emphasize it. I’d be for keeping the restaurant open.”

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the other commissioners agreed with a unanimous vote in favor of the extension.

Financially, the Airport is showing a year-to-date deficiency of $317,983.62, though the number does not account for a 2011 capital expenditure (a $211,144 expense on updating the terminal security fence/wall), which was not included in the 2012 budget. (A budget amendment to allow for this is forthcoming, Parker said.)

Overall, capital expenditures are at $748,008 for the year with $1.896 million budgeted, meaning that with 25% of the budget complete, this department is running at 39.4% of its budgeted amount.

On the revenue side, terminal revenues are at $142,490 for 2012 with $927,300 budgeted, indicating the Airport’s terminal revenues are around 15.4% with a fourth of the budget complete.