Airport concessions process cancelled over errs involving Delta concourse, two other passenger service sectors

By David Pendered

Atlanta’s seven-month effort to sign concessions contracts at the airport evidently collapsed over paperwork problems in just a few significant portions of the process.

The troubled areas appear to involve three packages of concessions space: 25 food and beverage spaces in Concourse A, dominated by Delta Air Lines; 28 retail spaces in the future international concourse; and 12 food and beverage spaces reserved for small-scale, Mom and Pop establishments such as Manuel’s Tavern.

The city took from five to six weeks to determine that it would exercise its most extreme response possible to proposals that Atlanta COO Peter Aman said were non-responsive. The city could have rejected just portions of some or all proposals, according to the city’s Request for Proposals.

The RFP language on cancellation states:

“The city reserves the right to cancel any and all solicitations and to accept or reject, in whole or in part, any and all Bids/Proposals when it is in good cause and in its best interest.”

The procurement process was cancelled Sept. 2, the Friday before the Labor Day weekend. Aman said he endorsed the recommendation to cancel the process that was made by Adam Smith, the city’s procurement director. Smith said so many proposals were botched that it was in the city’s best interest to cancel the process and start over.

The process started with an Industry Day Jan. 19 and culminated with a pre-bid conference April 5, though the city subsequently amended its RFPs. Proposals were due on a rolling deadline that included July 21, July 25 and July 27.

Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter wrote in an email Tuesday the airline supports the cancellation and restart of the procurement process. The airline is paying special attention to the planned opening of the international terminal in Spring 2012.

“We’re 100 percent supportive of the Mayor (Kasim Reed) and (airport General Manager) Louis Miller’s decision, as Delta wants to ensure that the new international facility offers the highest-quality, highest-value concessions for international travelers departing from, arriving to and connecting through Atlanta,” Banstetter wrote.

A review of a spread sheet the city released Sept. 2 shows the following areas account for a major portion of packages that were deemed non-responsive to the city’s requests for proposals.

Click here to link to a list of corporations that filed proposals for each package. Then scroll half-way down the story to see the list.

Large Food and Beverage Packages

Package No. 1:

  • Twenty food and beverage locations, four food merchandising units and one food court comons area on Concourse A;
  • Eight proposals received;
  • Two non-responsive.

Package No. 2:

  • Twelve food and beverage locations, five food merchandising units, and two food court common areas on Concourse B;
  • Six proposals received;
  • Zero non-responsive.

Package No. 3:

  • Fourteen food and beverage concessionis, three food merchandising units on Concourse C:
  • Six proposals received;
  • One non-responsive.

Package No. 4:

  • Seventeen food and beverage locations, three food merchandising units on Concourse D; and 10 food and beverage locations and two food merchandising units on Concourse T;
  • Six proposals received;
  • One non-responsive.

Package No. 5:

  • Nine food and beverage concessions locations and two food court common areas in the Atrium and seven food and beverage concessions locations and three food count common areas on Concourse F;
  • Four proposals received;
  • Zero non-responsive.

Retail Packages

Package No. 1:

  • Thirteen retail locations on Concourse E and Concourse F;
  • Three proposals received;
  • One non-responsive.

Package No. 2:

  • Eleven retail locations on Cocourse E and Concourse F;
  • Four proposals received;
  • Two non-responsive.

Package No. 3:

  • Four retail locations on Concourse T, Main Terminal, and Rental Car Center:
  • No responses.

Small Food and Beverage Packages

Package No. 6:

  • Two food and beverage concessions locations on Concourse D and two food and beverage concessions locations on Concourse T;
  • Thirteen proposals received;
  • Eight non-responsive.

Package No. 7:

  • Three food and beverage locations on Concourses B and F;
  • Fifteen proposals received;
  • Nine non-responsive.

Package No. 8:

  • Two food and beverage locations on Concourse A, and one food and beverage location in the Atrium;
  • Nineteen proposals received;
  • Eleven non-responsive.

Package No. 9:

  • Two food and beveage locations on Concourse C;
  • Eleven packages received;
  • Six non-responsive.
Atlanta released this spread sheet to explain its reasons for canceling the procurement process for airport concessions. Credit: City of Atlanta

Atlanta released this spread sheet to explain its reasons for canceling the procurement process for airport concessions. Credit: City of Atlanta


 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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