HELENA — Travelers flying in and out of Helena Regional Airport may have noticed changes in recent months with Smokejumper ending their tenure at the airport. Now, the airport is searching for a new long-term operator for its food and beverage locations inside the airport.
Wednesday morning, airport director Jeff Wadekamper gave tours to potential operators viewing the gate-side restaurant, the restaurant on the main floor, the gift shop, and various conference rooms available to the lessee for catering of events.
"We want somebody that will operate all of that. So that will operate — you know, both the gate side, the public side restaurant spaces, gifts, the bar — there's the full-service liquor license the airport owns that comes with it, the concessionaire can utilize," said Wadekamper. "There's ability to do on-site catering, we've got a really large room upstairs at 7200 square feet that can do fairly large events, and then we've got a smaller room downstairs for smaller meetings. So really, we're looking for somebody to operate all of that under one umbrella."
Currently, 1889 Coffee House has stepped in to serve travelers at the airport in the interim, but Airport policies require the option to be opened to all interested parties to put in a request for proposal.
The timeframe for requests for proposals closes on Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. with an update on the new operator expected approximately a month after that.