MAC newsletter for March 2017

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MSP's Grzechowiak wins national concessions award

Liz Grzechowiak, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport's (MSP) assistant director of concessions and market development, recently won national recognition when she was named Property Manager of the Year by Airport Revenue News (ARN), a communications company supporting the airport concession industry.


Grzechowiak, who heads a team of four airport concession professionals, is leading MSP’s ongoing makeover of its concessions program.

Almost 50 new restaurants and shops have opened in recent months after a rebidding process that started in 2015. A second round of rebids for concession space is set to start soon for about 30 new restaurants that will open in 2018 and 2019.

Pictured: Liz Grzechowiak.

“Liz’s energy and ideas inspire everyone she works with,” said Dennis Probst, the chief operating officer of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP. “The success of MSP’s new concessions reflects both Liz’s broad understanding and vision for passengers’ retail and restaurant experiences, and her remarkable attention to detail.”

Many of the opportunities at MSP attracted local businesses that have never before entered the airport marketplace, including Republic, the first bar and restaurant at MSP to feature live music.

Other concessions with local ties include Angel Food Bakery; Stone Arch, a brew pub that makes dozens of local brews available to travelers; and LOLO, the bar and restaurant on Concourse E that features locally sourced menu items and drinks.

Grzechowiak joined MSP in 2013 after a career featuring restaurant management experience in the Twin Cities area, including as regional director of operations at Leeann Chin Inc.

The ARN awards recognize excellence in airport concessions, and involve nominations from throughout the United States. Finalists are then named in each category and a committee of industry professionals votes to determine the winners. 

This year’s winners also included North Loop Market, a newsstand at MSP that won the Best Airport Newsstand/Travel Essential award from ARN. The market is located in the Terminal 1-Lindbergh mall and is a steady draw for passengers. 

More information on the ARN awards can be found here.


MSP food and beverage opportunities available


The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) is requesting proposals from qualified firms interested in operating food and beverage concessions at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s (MSP) Terminal 1-Lindbergh.

To obtain a copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP), please visit this website. The RFP features 29-34 restaurant concepts.

A mandatory pre-proposal conference will be held April 12, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. at MSP Terminal 1-Lindbergh. Questions about the RFP are due in writing to the MAC no later than 4 p.m. Central Time on April 13, 2017. The proposals are due on or before 2 p.m. Central Time on June 8, 2017.

The new concession opportunities are the second phase of a program to reimagine MSP’s award-winning restaurant and retail program. In recent months, almost 50 new concessions have opened at MSP as part of the first phase of the concessions makeover.

Information available on Crystal Airport's long-term comp plan


The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) has prepared an addendum to the draft 2035 Long-Term Comprehensive Plan (LTCP) for Crystal Airport.
The addendum describes the Refined Preferred Alternative developed in response to public and stakeholder feedback about the original plan, which was issued for public comment in September 2016.

The updated plan proposes to (1) provide additional primary runway length to better accommodate the types of aircraft already operating at the airport and (2) keep a portion of the existing grass runway operational.
The public is invited to attend an informational meeting about the proposed changes and to comment on the amended plan. The meeting offers an opportunity for one-to-one interaction with MAC staff in an open house setting with an overview presentation beginning at 6:00 p.m. Details follow:
Thursday, March 30, 2017
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Presentation beginning at 6:00 PM
Odyssey Academy
6201 Noble Avenue N.
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429
In addition, copies of the draft LTCP addendum document are available for distribution and for viewing on the MAC’s website. Written comments will be accepted until Friday, April 14, 2017 at 5:00pm CDT. 

Travelers give MSP staff highest marks in N. America

Chalk it up to “Minnesota Nice,” perhaps: Travelers say the service provided by staff at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is the best in North America.

Skytrax today announced its 2016 World Airport Awards results, ranking MSP at the top of the pile for staff service, followed by Vancouver, Seattle, Denver, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta, Toronto Pearson and Montreal. 


The World Airport Awards are based on 13.82 million airport survey questionnaires completed by 105 different nationalities of travelers and covering 550 airports worldwide. The survey evaluates traveler experiences across different airport service and product performance indicators, from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration, through departures at the gate.

Pictured: Dan Boivin, chair of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, with the plaque.

Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said, “We congratulate Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for their success in winning this very important customer satisfaction award, the quality benchmark for the airport industry. It demonstrates how Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport continues to improve standards of staff service and the customer experience to be recognized as having the Best Airport Staff Service in North America, which covers a very competitive group of airports.” 

Nearly 20,000 people work in jobs directly related to MSP Airport operations, including airline employees and contractors, federal security and immigration workers, concessionaires, Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) employees and many others.

The Skytrax award reflects the MAC’s vision, “Providing your best airport experience.”

The Skytrax win comes one week after MSP International won another award, Best Airport in North America in its size category for service quality, based on surveys conducted by Airports Council International.

For more information about the Skytrax World Airport Awards, visit this website.

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