Delaware North Says its Offer for John Wayne Airport Food Contract Won't Rip Off Consumers, Like Rival Bid HMSHost would

Many of ustedes are probably going through John Wayne Airport for points north and east this week, probably munching on food you brought with you from home lest you get ripped off at Mickey D's or Starbucks. Many of you are hoping that the Orange County Board of Supervisors already approve a revamping of the food concessionaires and bring in better grub. But politics, as always in this brilliant-disgusting county, always get in the way.

Last month, the county's Airport Commission unanimously recommended that the Supes go with HMSHost–which currently has the contract that currently curses passengers with such bad food– on January 11, when the issue is up for a vote. But rival Delaware North isn't taking that recommendation kindly.

In a Dec. 21 letter to the Board, Delaware North president Matthew R. King disclosed his company is willing to up its bid, from $24 million per year for the right to rent the concession stands, to $34 million, an offer that still falls short of HMSHost's $39 million proposal. King offered a novel argument to try and convince the supes to give his company the contract: that his rival's higher promise of rent means HMSHost will likely increase prices at restaurants to make up the cost.

“The JWA terminal is a phenomenal asset and traveling experience where 9 to 10 million passengers pass through annually,” King wrote. “It seems to be lost in the discussion that these very customers will be paying the loft rent promised by Host. This is a flawed business model, and will surely result in an increase in customer complaints.”

Stay tuned…

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