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City Council To Vote On LAX Eateries Upgrade

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(credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Many of the stores and concession stands that have served passengers for years at Los Angeles International Aiport may be replaced if the City Council votes to approve contracts with new concessionaires.

Up for consideration on Wednesday are four food and beverage contracts and five retail contracts that would bring new vendors to LAX Terminals 4, 5, 7 and 8.

The food and beverage contracts are poised to be awarded to Areas USA LAX, LLC, and THS/Marbella Food Service Partnership IV.

The former plans to open Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, Homegirl Cafe, Ford’s Filling Station, Corona Bar and Grill, and Carl’s Jr., among other eateries.

The latter, on the other hand, plans to serve dishes from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Meanwhile, the retail contracts are slated for Hudson-Magic Johnson Enterprises-Concourse Ventures, LAX Retail Magic and XpressSpa.

Nancy Castles, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles World Airports, which runs LAX, said if the contracts are approved today, some of the new stores and eateries will be ready for customers by summer.

The contract with the current concessionaires — HMS Host and Hudson — is set to expire on Dec. 31, but Castles said none of the incoming concessionaires will be ready to immediately take over on Jan. 1 because they will need to renovate the existing facilities first.

Castles said the current and incoming concessionaires will undergo a “gradual transition” to ensure that passengers will never be without service.

“We want to phase them (incoming concessionaires) in, because what we do not want to do is have one terminal totally with no concessions at all,” Castles said. “There will be a gradual transition, with the first wave of concessions certain to have been built out by summer.”

An additional food and beverage contract is up for grabs — a lucrative deal that would account for 58 percent of the projected revenue from dining at LAX Terminals 4, 5, 7 and 8.

LAX officials had recommended awarding the deal to SSP America — whose vendors included Red Mango, Border Grill Tacqueria, Spuntino, Market Cafe and Panda Express — but the Board of Referred Powers decided to scrap all bids after the city attorney spotted a potential conflict of interest.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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