Airport will try food venture again

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Fliers taking off from Grand Junction Regional Airport will be able to fuel up at Subway before departure.

The airport authority board voted Tuesday to become a Subway franchise with a store in the terminal.

The airport Subway will differ from previous food-service ventures at the airport in that it will have counters on the secure side of the terminal for ticketed passengers and on the non-secure side for well-wishers and greeters.

Only airport employees are allowed to move freely between secure and nonsecure areas of the airport, so the airport will employ Subway workers and subject them to the same requirements as other employees.

That likely will mean they will be paid a bit more than other fast-food workers, Airport Manager Rex Tippetts said.

It also means Tippetts will add a title to his resume — Subway franchisee. He’ll undergo training from Subway just as will the manager of the store, he told the board. Board members agreed to the unusual arrangement out of some frustration, said Gregg Palmer, who represents the city of Grand Junction on the authority board.

Previous efforts have served food only on the nonsecure side, “and they’ve always failed,” Palmer said.

A lack of hot food at the airport has been the No. 1 complaint about service at the airport, said Denny Granum, the board’s chairman.

The Subway will open in the morning and will serve breakfasts as well as sandwiches.

Having the airport become a Subway franchisee isn’t the ideal solution, Tippetts said, “but it’s what we need to do to fix this issue.”

The airport will spend $375,000 to install the two-sided Subway with serving counters in the secure lobby and on the nonsecure side.

Tippetts anticipates operating revenue of nearly $380,000 a year and expenses of about $260,000 a year.


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