Nashville Takes 2011 Griesbach Award

ATLANTA— Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) recognized Nashville International Airport as the Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence winner in the 2011 Airport Concessions Contest. Darrell D. Watson, Director of Properties, Louisville International Airport, was also recognized as ACI-NA’s Concessions “Person of the Year”.

Nashville’s concession program provides the opportunity for passengers and guests to taste and experience Nashville while at the airport. The program focuses on creating a travel experience that reflects the Music City’s diversity and hospitable spirit, while considering the impact of existing and new security requirements on concessions and customer service convenience in the Terminal.

“Now in our fourteenth year of holding the Richard A. Griesbach Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest, ACI-NA congratulates Nashville as this year’s overall award of excellence winner,” said ACI-NA President Greg Principato. “These award-winning entries help promote the innovative spirit within the airport concessions industry as well as showcase the best programs in North America.”

Under Darrel Watson’s leadership, over the last two years Louisville International Airport has experienced higher revenues and increased levels of customer satisfaction. Through his efforts, the airport has secured contracts for a new retail and food and beverage program, rental car and wireless internet concessions, and taken over management for a large cargo service building. Watson is an active participant with ACI-NA, American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and serves as president of the Kentucky Aviation Association. 

“We are proud to honor Darrel Watson as this year’s ACI-NA Concessions ‘Person of the Year’,” said Principato. “Darrel’s enthusiasm and creative approach to the business of airports at Louisville International serves as an inspiration to his colleagues.”

The awards were announced during the 2011 ACI-NA Airport Concessions Conference in Atlanta, at which more than 350 representatives of the North American airport concessions industry are in attendance. The purpose of the ACI-NA Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest is to inspire creativity in the industry and to recognize innovative and outstanding airport concessions.  Under the continuing financial stress that airports experience, these awards help to demonstrate the importance of airport concessions.

This year’s contest received 150 nominations from airports of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the Greisbach award, 24 other awards were presented in the following categories:

Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence

·         Nashville International Airport

Concessions Person of the Year

·         Darrell D. Watson, Louisville International Airport

Best New Food and Beverage Concept

·         1st Place: Surdyk’s Flights, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (operated by Surdyk’s Flights)

·         2nd Place: Healthy Gourmet, John F. Kennedy International Airport (operated by Mar Air Foods)

·         3rd Place: Burger Bar by Chef Allen, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (operated by Delaware North Companies – Travel Hospitality Services)

·         Honorable Mention: URBANCRAVE, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (operated by SSP America)

·         Honorable Mention: Red Mango, Midway International Airport (Operated by Mac One Midway, LLC)

Best “Green” Concessions Practice or Concept

·         1st Place: Recycling: Grease to Biofuel and Recycling: Cardboard Boxes, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport(operated by Bradford Airport Logistics)

·         2nd Place: Enroute Spa, Indianapolis International Airport (operated by Enroute Spa)

·         3rd Place: Soundbalance, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (operated by Project Horizon)

Best New Retail Concept

·         1st Place: U*Tique Shop, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport(Operated by Utique, Inc.)

·         2nd Place: iStore, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport (operated by LS travel retail North America)

·         3rd Place: Flip Flop Stop, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (operated by Mercer retail Services, Inc.)

Best New Consumer Service Concept

·         1st Place: Samsung Passenger Service Sponsorship, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (operated by Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC)

·         2nd Place: Minute Suites, Philadelphia International Airport (operated by Minute Suites)

·         3rd Place: XpresSpa, John F. Kennedy International Airport (operated by XpresSpa)

Best Food & Beverage Program

·         1st Place: Newark Liberty International Airport – Terminal C

·         2nd Place: Indianapolis International Airport

·         3rd Place: Louisville International Airport

·         Honorable Mention: Boston-Logan International Airport – Terminal C 

Best Convenience Retail Program

·         1st Place: McCarran International Airport

Best Specialty Retail Program

·         1st Place: Philadelphia International Airport – B/C Connector

·         2nd Place: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport - Concourse C Cart Program

·         3rd Place: Louisville International Airport

Entries for this year’s contest were judged by an independent panel comprised of high-level professionals with no vested interest in concession operations, or the outcome of any one airport. In addition to the independent panel, one representative from the previous year’s overall winner was also involved in the judging process.

The ACI-NA Excellence in Concessions Contest, which began in 1998, honors the contributions of Richard A. Griesbach, a long-time industry professional in airport concession programs.  Greisbach’s influence on the commercial development of airports extended far beyond his employment with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The Concessions Person of the Year category was added in 2007.

Previous winners of the prestigious Griesbach Award of Excellence include:

2010 – Vancouver International Airport

2009 – John F. Kennedy International Airport─Terminal 5

2008 – Boston Logan International Airport

2007 – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

2006 – Memphis International Airport—Concourse B

2005 – Edmonton International Airport—Central Hall

2004 – LaGuardia Airport—Central Terminal Building

2003 – No winner

2002 – Philadelphia International Airport

2001 – Calgary International Airport

2000 – Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport