Airport maintains gift shop lease with current operator

A family who has run the gift shop and concessions inside Grand Junction Regional Airport for more than 40 years will extend its longevity at the airport for at least another five years.

The airport’s governing board this week unanimously agreed to award a lease for the retail outlet to Open Range Inc., which bested bids from two other firms, Jedediah Corp. of Jackson, Wyo., and Oakwells Commuter Rail LLC of Orlando, Fla.

Open Range is owned by JoAnn Smith, whose family has operated the gift shop at the airport for 41 years.

Oakwells’ proposal would have turned over 8.75 percent of its gross revenue to the airport, the highest percentage among the three bidders.

Open Range offered 8.5 percent, while Jedediah offered 8.25 percent.

Open Range, however, offered the minimum guarantee of concession fees of $140,000 over the five-year lease, which was higher than the $134,300 offered by Jedediah and $120,000 offered by Oakwells.

Between the minimum- concession-fee guarantee and the percentage of gross revenue, the airport ultimately will receive the higher amount.

“We felt that because of her guarantees, her experience and our experience with her, she was clearly the better choice,” Airport Authority member Gregg Palmer said of Smith.


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