Los Angeles City Council Approves LAX Concessions Contracts; Transformation of Aging Terminal Concessions to Begin in January

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Los Angeles City Council today approved contracts for new concessions at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The 10-year contracts include four food-and-beverage packages and four retail packages for LAX Terminals 4, 5, 7 and 8. Almost all of the new concession concepts are based in the City of Los Angeles or Southern California.

The new concessions will replace existing restaurants and stores in the four terminals, as well as in converted public space. Once existing concession leases expire at the end of this year, the new retail concessions are expected to be built out by Summer 2011 and the new food-and-beverage concessions by the end of 2011.

In recent years, food-and-beverage and retail service at these LAX terminals have received less than flattering reviews in passenger satisfaction surveys conducted by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the City department that owns and operates LAX and two other Southern California airports. LAX often placed near the bottom among major U.S. airports.  According to airport officials, low customer opinions of the concessions at LAX resulted in a long-term lag in the growth of passenger spending in these terminals. The upcoming December 31, 2010 expiration of the current concession leases in these four terminals prompted a concession competition for alternatives to the current passenger experience. Requests for Proposals were issued May 2009 followed by five addenda and receipt of proposals in October. LAWA staff recommended contract awards covering eight concession packages to the Los Angeles City Council Board of Referred Powers last April, resulting in seven packages approved by the Board of Referred Powers last month. In addition, two retail packages were approved by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners earlier this month.

Food and Beverage Concessions

In the food-and-beverage area, LAWA's goal was to establish a setting where passengers are offered a unique Los Angeles experience with local and regional eateries provided by celebrity chefs and popular local restaurants. The food-and-beverage proposal opportunities covered 20 terminal locations totaling approximately 50,000 square feet bundled into five packages ranging from two to seven units. Among 25 proposals received from eight companies, the Board of Referred Powers approved four packages. 

"The competition resulted in a slate of new food and beverage establishments representing some of L.A.'s most sought-after restaurants and celebrity chefs," said LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey. "We have a cast of new, talented and proven restaurants that will help put the 'L.A.' back into 'LAX.'"

Contract awardees and their concept packages in the food-and-beverage area are:

  • Areas USA LAX, LLC (three contracts): Ford's Filling Station (Chef Ben Ford), B Grill by BOA, Klatch Coffee, Carl's Jr., Natural Break, Homegirl Cafe, Lemonade (Chef Alan Jackson), Concert Bar, Engine Co. No. 28 (Chef Kenneth McCaskill), Corona Bar & Grill and Sammy's Pizza
  • THS/Marbella Food Service Partnership IV: Skewers by Morimoto (Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto) and (Chef) Wolfgang Puck Express

Retail Concessions

In the retail area, LAWA's goal was to provide passengers a high-quality shopping experience with a variety of new and innovative shopping options that offer a "sense of place" reflecting the Los Angeles region. The retail proposal opportunities covered 22 terminal locations totaling approximately 20,000 square feet bundled into five packages ranging from one to eight units. 

"The new retail concessions will add some well-established consumer brands and bring some of L.A.'s most distinctive businesses to LAX, the City's front door to millions of people traveling through the airport," Lindsey said.

Contract awardees and their concept packages in the retail area are:

  • Hudson-Magic Johnson enterprises-Concourse Ventures, LLC: Hudson News, I Love L.A., Los Angeles Times Newsstand, CNN Newsstand Los Angeles and People News
  • LAX Retail Magic 2 Joint Venture: Kitson, Magic Johnson Sports, Rip Curl, Hugo Boss, Hudson Booksellers, Vroman's Bookstore, Kids Corner, Papyrus, Entertainment Weekly, Mattel Experience and E! Entertainment
  • LAX Retail Magic 3-4 Joint Venture (two contracts): Hollywood Style (True Religion, Monarchy, Ed Hardy, T-Tech by Tumi, Oakley, King Baby Jewelry), Bartels' Harley-Davidson, Sunglass Hut, Hollywood Bling, See's Candies, Hudson News/Vroman's Bookstore and NBC Universal
  • XpresSpa (personal care services)     

In order to ensure a wide-ranging and inclusive competitive process, airport officials described their outreach to local businesses as "unprecedented," including three public workshops attended by over 625 executives to describe the LAX concessions program, the City's competitive process, and how to prepare responsive proposals.

Proposals were evaluated by a panel of LAWA executives on criteria that included: overall mix of brands/concepts; financial return and investment commitment; customer service, marketing and operations plan; aesthetics and design intent; and experience and qualifications.        

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the seventh busiest airport in the world, offering more than 565 daily flights to 81 destinations in the U.S. and over 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 65 international destinations. LAX is part of a system of three Southern California airports – along with LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys generation aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City's general fund.

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CONTACT: Los Angeles World Airports Nancy Suey Castles (424) 646-5260