Delaware North Companies is spending $60,000 to be the main sponsor of the grand opening events at the new Buffalo airport terminal this fall, another sign the formerly low-key business giant is raising its profile at home.
Delaware North subsidiary CA One Services Inc. won the concessions contract at the airport and plans to spend $3.3 million building restaurants, retail shops and bars in the terminal. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority expects to earn about $800,000 in annual revenue from the contract.
The contract is the third major Niagara region concession deal won by Buffalo-based Delaware North since 1994. The firm also has the concessions contract for the Niagara Reservation State Park at Niagara Falls and the Marine Midland Arena.
The sponsorship announcement came during a Wednesday press conference in the new terminal at which NFTA officials showed off a $340,000 decorative floor being built in the main corridor and said the $187 million terminal project, which is now 90 percent complete, is on schedule.
The concessions operation at what will become Buffalo Niagara International Airport is the latest version of what Delaware North calls its Gateway concept to serving passengers. Stores and restaurants will either be locally owned or carry a regional theme.
Delaware North operates concessions in 30 airports, including Los Angeles, Albuquerque, N.M., and Tucson, Ariz., and serves 250 million people annually.
"It's our hometown and we're proud of what the airport division has done," said Louis M. Jacobs, Delaware North executive vice president. "It's a concept we're rolling out elsewhere and it's nice to be providing it here."
The NFTA also announced it has lined up 11 other companies as official sponsors for the four-day airport opening scheduled for Oct. 30 through Nov. 2. The facility begins operations Nov. 3.
About $150,000 has been raised from the sponsorships, including the Delaware North donation. The money will help pay for the opening events and marketing the facility to air travelers. Additional private sponsors are being pursued by the NFTA.
Firms participating so far are: Airpark Inc., American Express, Chase Bank, Darien Lake Theme Park, New York Lottery, New York State Electric and Gas, O'Brien Kreitzberg, Omega World Travel, Santo Tours, The Travel Team and William Nicholas Bodouva.
US Airways will be the official airline of the grand opening.
The concession outlets planned by CA One include Mrs. Rich's Bakery, a new Rich Products food outlet; Mattie's Hot Dogs, another Buffalo business; the Niagara Grill; Buffalo All-Stars Bar; and the Landmark Bar, which will highlight local architecture.