Late last night, Dallas City Hall finally posted the briefing docs for tomorrow afternoon's debut performance of the Love Field Concession Committee, formed after Mayor Tom just said no to those no-bid contracts on April 28. And, no wonder it took forever to get online: Sucker's 72 pages not including appendices such as this Q&A (which explains how they do things over at Dallas-Fort Worth International), previous briefings and old meeting minutes, and a copy of the concessionaire's contract.
But the long story short is this: In advance of tomorrow's shindig, the first of several scheduled, city staff sat down and made a list of pros and cons related to keeping the existing concessionaires (most notably Gilbert Aranza's Dallas Love Field Joint Venture and Hudson Retail, in which state Rep. Helen Giddings has a significant stake) and hammered out what it considers a decent compromise. Which is:
- Extend incumbents through construction period as well in new terminal space, PLUS
- Provide competitive process for a portion of the new terminal
Done. Because as far as the city's concerned, that keeps "experienced, reliable" companies in the airport through the Love Field update, scheduled to begin in September and end in 2014; gives Dallas Love Field Joint Venture and Hudson space in the old building and new terminal; and gives new concessionaires "significant business opportunity to compete."
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Or not, as I'm fairly sure this is more or less the same compromise that got us here in the first place. And, there are hints that this could go on a long while: Before it gets into the part about the phases in which the airport will get an extreme makeover, the briefing says a decision about extending current contracts has to be made by no later than ... June 30, 2011. If they're not reupped by then, it says, "all concession space in existing and new terminal should be bid competitively, effective July 1, 2011 to achieve the best result."