Sky Harbor named Best Airport for Shopping

America’s Friendliest Airport has been named the Best Airport for Shopping in USA Today’s 10Best Travel Contest. Earlier this year, Airport Experience News nominated 15 airports with stand-out retail programs that provided travelers with a variety of shopping items both before and after security. From late December through late January, interested individuals cast their votes on-line for their favorite airport for shopping.

Phoenix Sky Harbor came in first among airports across the U.S. Phoenix Sky Harbor has a strong retail program with a variety of nationally-recognized brands as well as local products. In fact, in 2018, the Airport brought 35 new retail locations to its busiest terminal, Terminal 4, as well as two new post-security spa locations, and US Careways Urgent Care, an airport medical clinic with a doctor on staff and a drug store. 

When visiting Sky Harbor, travelers will recognize national brands like Tumi and Lucky Break, and are delighted to find offerings at local retailers such as Roosevelt Row and Bunky Boutique. And, in conjunction with the opening of a new South Concourse and post-security lobby area at the modernized Terminal 3, travelers will find many options including: Johnston and Murphy, which sells men’s and women’s apparel; Sugarfina, which offers a variety of artisan candies; and local operator Travel Outfitters, which features functional and stylish luggage and travel accessories. 

Additionally, Phoenix Sky Harbor’s concessions program took home honors in three other categories. Bunky Boutique, which sells attire, eclectic jewelry, knickknacks and home décor items, received second place honors for Best Airport Shop for Local Merchandise. This shop combines local brands and creativity to create a perfect blend of hip, innovative, and unique fashion that is perfect for both locals and travelers alike. Bunky Boutique is located pre-security in Terminal 4. 

Another Terminal 4 store,, located near Gates B1-B14, came in fifth for Best Airport/Newsstand/Travel Essential. offers periodicals, books, and last minute travel needs as well as local products, attire, candles and craft beer and wine. 

And, America’s Friendliest Airport®, which is also known for its award-winning dining options, adds another honor to its repertoire with Terminal 2’s OHSO Brewery & Distillery coming in third in the Best Airport Bar category. Customers visiting nano-brewery OHSO have an opportunity to try award-winning local beers like the Popcycle Blond Ale, which features hints of lemons and raspberries, and is light and refreshing. Travelers will also enjoy a variety of menu items like sandwiches and salad.

Source: AZ Big Media

HMSHost Wins 10 Year $418M Contract at Salt Lake City International Airport to Deliver Top Restaurants for Travelers

Restaurants planned for SLC will surely delight hungry travelers when Salt Lake City International Airport’s redevelopment program is complete and The New SLC opens in 2020. Global restaurateur HMSHost won a 10 year contract valued at approximately $418 million to deliver 12 new dining locations for the 25 million passengers who visit SLC every year. The new restaurants and cafes will offer travelers a wide-ranging variety of experiences, each representing today’s top trends for dining out. All planned locations fall under various joint venture arrangements established by HMSHost with emerging travel dining companies and Utah-based small businesses.

“On behalf of HMSHost and our talented group of business partners, I want to say what an honor it is to be a part of this historic redevelopment project for Salt Lake City International Airport. We thank the Salt Lake City Department of Airports (SLCDA) for selecting our team to serve its travelers as the airport enhances and expands the services offered,” said HMSHost President & CEO Steve Johnson. “The restaurants we will open are at the forefront of innovative dining trends at both the local and national level, and we could not be more excited to provide these great new dining destinations for SLC’s travelers.”

New dining options for SLC travelers will include:

·         Shake Shack is a critically acclaimed, modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100 percent all-natural Angus beef burgers, chicken sandwiches, griddled flat-top dogs (no hormones or antibiotics – ever), fresh-made frozen custard, crispy crinkle-cut fries, and more. A fun and lively community gathering place with widespread appeal, Shake Shack has earned a cult-like following around the world. 

·          Panera Bread is the most highly recognized and regarded bakery-café brand in the nation, built upon its forward-thinking product and service innovations and widely acclaimed for its wholesome and craveable made-to-order breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings 

·          Pizzeria Limone is known in the Salt Lake City region for creating delicious Neapolitan pizzas and its fast service makes it ideal for hurried travelers who want to get a taste of one of the hottest local favorites. The signature pies are baked in custom-designed open-fire turntable ovens in 3.5 minutes, coming out hot with a crust that has bubbled up perfectly around the edges. 

·          White Horse Spirits and Kitchen White Horse Spirits and Kitchen in SLC will be the second location for this popular Salt Lake City’s Main Street ‘hot-spot’ establishment, White Horse Spirits and Kitchen. This contemporary American Brasserie spotlights local ingredients on an eclectic menu, with a noteworthy selection of spirits, draft ciders, local brews on tap, and premium wines. 

·          Market Street Grill is Salt Lake City’s seafood destination restaurant and has been since 1980. Market Street expertly prepares seafood flown in daily from around the world, sourcing and partnering with only sustainable suppliers. The many travelers who have been enjoying Market Street Grill in the existing Terminal 2 will be very excited to learn that their favorite spot has found a home in the airport’s new terminal.  

·          Smashburger is the fast-casual gourmet burger experience for burger lovers, recognized across the country for its mouthwatering signature cooking process. Every Smashburger burger is “smashed” on the grill and seared to seal in the juices, then topped with garden-fresh ingredients and served with signature Smashfries. 

·          California Pizza Kitchen is widely recognized for its delicious food, culinary innovation and seasonal specials. With the opening in SLC, travelers will be able to enjoy trending menu items such as the new cauliflower pizza crust or dig into one of their favorite globally-inspired hand-tossed and hearth-cooked pies such as the Thai Chicken, the Jamaican Jerk Chicken, or the top-selling Original BBQ Chicken.

·          Bruges Belgian Bistro will bring all things Belgium into the Terminal from the Salt Lake City gem, Bruges Waffles & Frites, which started selling traditional Liège waffles, popular in Belgium, on Main Street in Salt Lake City from a vending cart in 2004 and expanded to several trucks and traditional locations since. Travelers will be able to enjoy delicious dessert options such as the popular “Waffle Monster” which is made with vanilla bean ice cream, strawberries, speculoos, and blueberries. Hungry passengers seeking something heartier will be excited to discover the ‘Machine Gun Sandwich’ (as featured on Food Network’s Man v Food) — a toasted baguette stuffed with a secret lamb sausage, frites and Andalouse sauce. Bruges’ hand-peeled frites, burgers, and more provide options for all guests. 

·          SLC Life Market Featuring Creminelli Meats redefines the typical airport “grab and go” dining experience offering a unique combination of convenience, freshness, great taste, and local products. Infused with the energy of SLC Airport, the SLC Life Market will offer freshly prepared sandwiches and salads, along with a wide selection of small bites and snacks to take on board. Also featured in SLC Life Market, will be popular local food purveyors such as Cakes de Fleur, a private Salt Lake City bakery founded by two friends that specializes in creating high-quality cakes from scratch.

·          Starbucks® Coffee is the global leader in gourmet coffee, with inviting stores that provide a comforting place to refresh with one of their signature beverages, baked goods, sandwiches, and snacks – all the things that travelers crave. Three Starbucks stores will open in the new airport.  

HMSHost operations will be dynamically supported by joint venture partnerships within the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program as follows:

·         HMSHost, Concessions America, Emerging Domestic Market Ventures, and TMG Services: Market Street Grill, SLC Life Market Featuring Creminelli Meats, Pizzeria Limone, and Smashburger.

·         HMSHost and Kind Hospitality: Panera Bread. 

·         HMSHost, Concessions America, and TMG Services: Starbucks and White Horse Spirits and Kitchen.

·         HMSHost, Emerging Domestic Market Ventures, and TMG Services: Shake Shack, California Pizza Kitchen, and Bruges Belgian Bistro.

HMSHost’s current options at Salt Lake City International Airport encompass a selection of popular original and local dining for travelers such as High West Saloon, Greek Souvlaki, and Il Viaggio among others. A list of existing HMSHost-operated locations at SLC is available on the HMSHost location finder map.

Source: Aviation Pros

Auckland airport: Luxury brands debut at Auckland Airport

A string of luxury retailers have made a New Zealand debut opening up shops in Auckland Airport’s recently refurbished international departures terminal.

Luxury handbag brands Kate Spade and Michael Kors, along with Italian retailers Furla and Maxmara, have each opened their first New Zealand store in the terminal.

The Airport’s luxury shopping precinct began opening in July last year, first with Michael Kors and jewellery retailer Partridge’s Rolex store. Since then other brands such as Coach, Lacoste, Fossil, Montblanc and Boss by Hugo Boss have opened permanent stores.

Richard Barker, general manager of retail at Auckland Airport, said luxury was a segment the Airport was previously missing, and work to secure the new market entrants began over two years ago.ADVERTISEMENT

Auckland Airport carried out consumer research to identify what brands were most in demand and were missing from New Zealand’s shopping arena.

The revamped international departures terminal at Auckland Airport is now home to a handful of luxury retailers, including Kate Spade. Photo / Supplied
The revamped international departures terminal at Auckland Airport is now home to a handful of luxury retailers, including Kate Spade. Photo / Supplied

«When we first did this research the likes of H&M and Zara weren’t even in the country and those [brands] came up but their formats are too big for airports so we spoke to lots of brands and came up with the proposition of ‘best of New Zealand and the world’,» Barker said.

«We deliberately aimed for what is described … as ‘affordable luxury’ that had appeal for [Kiwis] and international visitors.»

Other luxury retailers such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton were considered but deemed too out of reach for most so the Airport selected «tier 2» alternatives, Barker said.

The revamped terminal is also home to All Blacks, Icebreaker and Whittaker’s stores to service international visitors, he said.

The Airport’s departures terminal has been going through expansion and refurbishment for close to three years. Part of the revamp was to introduce a new food and beverage offering, Barker said, including new eateries Better Burger, Mexico and Al Brown’s Best Ugly Bagels.