MONTROSE – Now that the Montrose Board of County Commissioners have approved a concessionaire pilot project, travelers can soon order food – and even locally brewed beer – from the Horsefly Brewing Co. at Montrose Regional Airport.
The pilot food-and-beverage program – approved unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting – will take effect Saturday, Feb. 1 through April 30, 2015.
Montrose County Director of Aviation Lloyd Arnold said the concession room has been built (in the sterile area behind TSA security), and that having Horsefly Brewing Company as the pilot operator gives the county (and other possible concessionaires) an opportunity to asses the value of similar operations.
“We simply don’t know what the value and worth is going to be,” Arnold said. “During this trial period, Horsefly will be required to disclose their financials, and they are required to turn the location back to its original state.”
Following the trial period, the concessionaire will be issued a Request for Proposal.
Arnold said the county put out an RFP for this concession area back in 2012, but only received only one response, due to uncertainty about possible revenues at the location. After that RFP was issued, Lloyd said the county approached Horsefly to suggest they join the pilot program, for which Horsefly will pay $6,250 to Montrose County.
“We are lucky to have someone willing to spend $6,000 plus for a trial period,” Arnold said.
Arnold said Horsefly is applying for a license to sell beer and wine through the state process.
Montrose Regional Airport Advisory Board Chairman Bill Swartz anticipates that the pilot project will be beneficial to the airport and the community, but voiced disappointment that members of the Airport Advisory Board were not better informed as the project took shape.
“I have toured this area with Mr. Arnold and everything he has said is correct,” Swartz said. “The only thing I am disappointed in is not being kept up to date on what is transpiring with this area. We knew for a while that it was going to take place, that it was in the works, but as far as bidding on it and who is being talked to on it, we had no idea of any of that. Sometimes that seems to happen with the board. I think we need to have more information on certain things that are happening at the airport.”
Commissioner Gary Ellis agreed with Swartz that conversation is needed to make sure the Airport Advisory Board is properly being informed. Ellis voiced confidence that the pilot concessionaire project in the secure area of the airport will be beneficial to both travelers and the Montrose community.
“I think it’s another step the airport has taken to make the traveling experience favorable to the community,” Ellis said.