MSP November newsletter

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MSP marks the holidays with song, dance and a symphony

Holiday performances start early next month at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and the lineup sponsored by Arts@MSP features a wide range of talent.

Each of the performances will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Terminal 1-Lindbergh’s North Mall Rotunda, located just inside the north security checkpoint by the grand piano.

The one exception for the time of a performance is the appearance of the Shiloh Baptist Temple International, which will run from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Here’s the lineup and the dates they’ll be performing:

• The season kicks off on Monday, Dec. 5 with Dennis Spears, who was the male voice of “Moore by Four,” a highly regarded quartet that was based in the Twin Cities, and who has remained highly visible ever since in theater, music ensembles and his own band.

• On Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Minnesota Dance Theater will bring its innovative, distinctive style to the airport. You can learn more about the Dance Theater at its website.


• On Thursday, Dec. 8, the Main Street School of Performing Arts will showcase its talent in the terminal. The award-winning tuition-free charter school was founded in 2002 by Stages Theatre Company and the Hopkins School District.

• T. Mychael Rambo, who has made an indelible mark on the Twin Cities, will perform on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Rambo is a regional Emmy Award winner and has performed principal roles at theaters including the Penumbra, the Guthrie, the Ordway, Illusion Theatre, Mixed Blood and the Minnesota Opera.

• The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony will perform on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Founded in 1972, the symphony has helped more than 16,000 students hone their musical talents and develop lifelong skills.

• On Monday, Dec. 19, Les Jolies Petites Dance Company will perform. The company was established in 1998 in Minneapolis’ Near North neighborhood as a dance studio that specializes in “positive movement for a positive generation.”

• The Shiloh Baptist Temple International performs on Tuesday, Dec. 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Music has been a powerful force at Shiloh for more than 80 years. Notable performances for the well-known music ministry have occurred at the Target Center for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Mall of America and the State Theater in Minneapolis.

MSP gets the nod for America's best restrooms

The votes are in and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is the winner of Cintas’ 2016 “America’s Best Bathroom” award.

The award, which also gives MSP the title of “King of the Throne,” was presented this week. Cintas, which is a commercial restroom service and supply company, has been holding the competition for 15 years.

MSP was recognized for its recently renovated restrooms. The airport is in the midst of a multi-year program to renovate more than 100 sets of restrooms.

Metropolitan Airports Commission staff, board members and Cintas executives pose outside a restroom Monday MSP's national award.


Cintas said that MSP’s “restroom zones are highlighted by softer lighting and a material palette that serves as a wayfinding icon.” The restroom renovation work already completed includes waiting areas with flight information and artwork displayed.

Cintas also noted that art reflecting Minnesota features “is also featured within the restrooms with original mosaic art......created by a different regional artist at each set.”

There were almost 5,000 votes cast in Cintas’ contest, and MSP’s bathrooms received roughly 40 percent of the vote.

MSP beat out nine other public restrooms that were in the field of finalists, including a high-end restaurant in Chicago and a minor league ballpark in Pennsylvania.

Terminal 1-Lindbergh project takes shape below and above


Changes in front-facing portions of Terminal 1-Lindbergh that travelers may have noticed recently at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) are designed to streamline the flow of foot traffic and prepare the facility for the future.

Pictured: Terminal 1-Lindbergh's tram level.

When the multi-faceted reconstruction project is complete, passengers will have improved options for moving between the three pre-security levels of Terminal 1, and the ticketing level will have additional indoor space, reducing congestion.

Construction walls went up on the north side of the tram level a few weeks ago, and travelers are now directed up escalators or elevators in the center or south side of Terminal 1’s tram level.

Behind the walls, crews are putting in new elevators and escalators to serve the terminal’s three levels and redesigning the flow of pedestrian traffic, leaving room for the additional work that will take place on the expanded ticketing level. In the new design, elevators will be front and center, with escalators off to the sides.

The ticketing level’s new design will mean people walking the length of that area won’t be impeded by passengers in line for the ticketing counters or stepping off escalators.

After the work on the escalators and elevators on the north side of Terminal 1’s pre-security area is complete sometime in late 2017, the construction walls will come down and a similar redesign of elevators and escalators on the south side of the terminal will commence.

LOLO forum highlights the benefits of going local


The new LOLO on Concourse E opened recently, and the craft-kitchen and cocktail restaurant celebrated with a “Know Your Crafters” forum earlier this month.

The restaurant features locally sourced food and drink, and a panel of local entrepreneurs who are developing the local farm-to-fork retail channels were on hand to talk about their business model.

LOLO’s founders, Joe Ehlenz and Brad Nordeen, operate the LOLO in Stillwater, and said they’re excited to be at the airport. The restaurant’s name stands for “Locally Owned, Locally Operated,” and the founders are proud of the businesses’ home-grown approach and its dynamic offerings.

A full 40 percent of LOLO’s menu changes with the season, giving patrons an ever-changing variety of choices.  

Panelists at the LOLO opening event huddled before the forum on locally sourced food and beverages.

In addition to Ehlenz and Nordeen, the forum featured Gina Holman, manager of operations at the J. Carver Distillery in Waconia, Minn.; Brad Glynn, co-founder of Lift Bridge Brewery, and Emma Warner of Rising Sun Farm in Wisconsin.

The panel was moderated by Kieran Folliard, the founder of 2 Ginger’s Irish Whiskey and Food Building Inc.

Holman said that the ingredients used in the J. Carver Distillery come from area farms, and she praised the airport for supporting small, local businesses.

Folliard was pleased to see that Lolo’s bar is equipped with a bottle of 2 Gingers, the Irish Whiskey company that launched in Minnesota and is now a national brand.

LOLO’s founders noted that the addition of LOLO at MSP shows that the airport is responding to passenger preferences, and said that LOLO represents the ongoing push toward locally sourced food in the Twin Cities’ restaurant business.

Click here to see a video on LOLO's grand opening.

New for you at MSP

The last month featured a number of new concession openings at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Stone Arch opened early in November on the south end of the main mall at Terminal 1-Lindbergh, and has been drawing a crowd ever since. The restaurant is a partnership with the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild and features many excellent Minnesota craft beers, along with a scratch kitchen.

Click the image below for a time-lapse video of Stone Arch's construction.

Pictured: The interior of the new Stone Arch restaurant in Terminal 1-Lindbergh.

Camden Foods opened at the front of the F Concourse and features made-to-order sandwiches, snacks and a salad bar.

Minnesota State of Nice is now open in the main mall of Terminal 1-Lindbergh. The regional gift store features souvenirs, books, toys, apparel and other  mementos from local artisans.

Angel Food Bakery opened its doors recently on the E Concourse. The bakery specializes in gourmet donuts and pastries and is already a favorite at all hours of the day. The bakery is open from 4 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Explore AFAR is a convenience and news store that's now open on the C Concourse in Terminal 1-Lindbergh. Travelers can also find national and regional souvenirs, along with snacks, beverages, books, magazines, apparel and more. 

Plan ahead for a smooth holiday trip


With the holiday season quickly approaching, travelers’ best bets for good cheer entail some preparation and attention to detail.

If you’re traveling this season for the first time in months or years, it’s worthwhile to make sure you have the latest travel apps on your mobile phone for the airline you’re flying, the rental car company you’re using or the hotel where you’re staying.

Those apps can save you time and be more efficient than making a call.

Packing light can always streamline your trip through the airport, and you can keep the season jolly by remembering not to wrap presents, which you may be required to unwrap as you go through airport security.

Gift cards are an option that can reduce bulk and allow you not to worry about security-related delays.

If you’re parking at Minneapolis-St. Paul International, you’re encouraged to consider the Quick Ride Ramp located near Terminal 1. Stay by your car after you park and a shuttle will pick you up right there and bring you to the terminal.

More information is available at this website.

Another strategy to use at MSP: When picking up arriving travelers at Terminal 1-Lindbergh, have them meet you outside the doors on the ticketing level. There’s often less congestion on that level.

Also, the Transportation Security Administration reminds you that the 3-1-1 rule is still in effect for liquids, gels, creams and pastes. The rule is each single item can be no more than 3.4 ounces, and you can bring only one quart-sized bag of those items.

And as always, travelers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are still advised to arrive at least two hours before their flight’s scheduled departure. If you get to the gate early, you will have time to relax and perhaps eat, drink and be merry.

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