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New Concessions Cut Ribbon At Pensacola Airport

Pensacola Airport

Two years after the city placed the food concessions at Pensacola International Airport up for bids, the ribbon was cut Tuesday morning for the restaurants that make up OHM Concessions in both the pre- and post-security areas.

Based in St. Ann, Missouri, OHM operates Pensacola Beach House bar and restaurant; Einstein Bros. Bagels, Freshens, and Chick-Fil-A at the airport.

“OHM does airport operations in eight different throughout the country,” said Milan Patel, the firm’s president and CEO. “We wanted to try smaller airports and bring the experience from the bigger airports to Pensacola.”

Patel says this is the successful end of a long journey. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward says getting the contract with OHM was a challenge. It required City Council approval and was the topic of several weeks of sometimes heated debate.

“It was challenging,” the Mayor said. “You have so many people in our great community that were passionate about their position, and most importantly I respected that. But I’m very happy about the decision we made. Obviously, by the passengers you can tell how much they like it. The numbers don’t lie.”

The city’s deal with OHM is projected to generate more than one million dollars over ten years, in additional non-airline revenues for the airport. According to city officials, overall sales have risen more than 15% since the transition to the new concessions.

Spending per enplaned passenger is also up since the new businesses took hold, from $3.19 on average in fiscal year 2013, to $4.85 as of May of this year.  Hayward says this also means a boost for both tourists and business travelers.

More expansion could be in the offing at Pensacola International Airport. Mayor Hayward says they’re exploring the possibilities of getting a couple of more airlines, and in turn, more flights to and from Pensacola. 

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