Airport officials hope new dining options take-off in Burlington. The airport is trying to add a local touch to the international airport, by offering more places to eat and drink even if you're not catching a flight.
Dozens of In-bound and out-bound flights jet to and from Burlington International Airport everyday, but staff are excited for one new arrival expected to be grounded at the facility for the foreseeable future. After months of working with the city, the Skinny Pancake is clear to land beyond security in both terminals.
Owners and airport staff are excited, but won't chat about the arrangement directly before it's official. "We just need to get it approved by our finance board and our city council," said Airport Director Gene Richards, "which will happen on the 15th of October."
Airport marketing coordinator Ryan Betcher says this is just one of the first steps in making sure the international airport represents the best of the Green Mountain State. "The airport has really been lacking in what they offer for food and beverage in the past," he said.
He said retailers saw a boost in sales when they began offering a greater percentage of Vermont products, and even more are expected on the airport's store shelves soon. "Local products are what sells in the state and that's what everybody wants," said Betcher.
Rand Hawkins is from the Bay Area and visiting Vermont. "I always consider the local option as being a good one," he said. He says he would buy VT at the airport and at tourist traps. "I'm thinking probably some syrup and a particular brand of Ice Cream that I like a lot," he said of his planned upcoming purchases.
Not all of the changes are targeted at travelers.
Richards says post-9-11 security measures drove the public away form the airport "Not on purpose, but as part of what we had to do to protect them." He says a sports-themed dining option could draw some back.
Richards envisions a new Sports Restaurant and Grill where the current pre-security bar lies. He said two-hour free parking for grill patrons, and the back-drop will make the airport a destination even for those not planning a trip.
Airport spokespeople say they hope to pick a local establishment to fill the future opening by the first of next year and open the doors a few months later.
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