Keep Dallas Observer Free
| News |

D/FW Airport Board Votes to Terminate Gilbert Aranza's Leases, But He Assures Employees That He's Just "Doing What Is Right"

After a lengthy closed-door meeting, the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport board voted 7-1 early this afternoon to terminate four leases related to businesses owned by concessionaire Gilbert Aranza, whose request for a temporary restraining order was granted yesterday at 5:07 p.m. by State District Judge Martin Hoffman.

The board claims Aranza owes approximately $279,000 in back rent from 2004 because he failed to report mixed-beverage taxes when calculating gross revenue, which is used to determine monthly rent payments. Aranza argues that the board never intended for any of the vendors to include the state's 14 percent mixed-beverage tax when determining gross sales.

As we reported last night, Aranza asked the court to stop the board from doing exactly what it voted to do -- terminating the leases under which he operates six restaurants that serve alcohol at DFW: Cool River, Cantina Laredo and Champps in Terminal D; the Cowtown Bar in Terminal A; and two locations of Skybox Sports bar -- one in Terminal A and one in Terminal C.

However, while Hoffman's order prohibits the board from actually terminating the leases, it didn't stop it from voting to do so.

"Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that defendant DFW International Airport Board be enjoined from terminating Plantiff's concessionaire leases pending the outcome of a temporary injunction in the Board's favor. This order does not prohibit the Board of Directors from voting to authorize the termination if the Court allows," Hoffman wrote in the order, which we've provided after the jump.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

In case you missed the update to yesterday's story, there's a hearing scheduled for November 15 at 9:30 a.m. to determine whether the TRO should become a temporary injunction pending a full trial on the matter.

Below, you'll find the legal docs we promised yesterday -- the TRO request and the lawsuit asking for the court to determine that the issue is a big misunderstanding, Aranza shouldn't have to pay and the contracts should be amended so he doesn't have to pay rent on mixed-beverage taxes that are paid directly to the state comptroller. You'll also find an internal memo from Aranza sent to his employees before today's vote in which he assures them that he's got the dough set aside to pay the 279 grand if need be, but in the meantime, he's hoping to "successfully challenge the airport's actions."

"We are doing what is right," Aranza wrote, stressing that he expects to resolve the issue with "as little interference in our daily operations as possible." Aranza TRO Application 11-03-10 Aranza TRO Application Appendix 11-03-10 Aranza Agreed Order Granting TRO 11-3-10 Aranza D/FW Board Lawsuit 11-03-10 Aranza Memo to Employees 11-4-10

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.