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John F. Kennedy International Airport Wins Overall Griesbach Award of Excellence in 2009 ACI-NA Concessions Contest

November 10, 2009

19 Airport Concession Awards Presented

INDIANAPOLIS — Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) today recognized John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 5 – JetBlue Airways as the Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence winner in the 2009 Airport Concessions Contest. John Cugasi, Director of Concessions and Retail, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, was also recognized as ACI-NA’s Concessions “Person of the Year.”

JFK's JetBlue Terminal 5 inaugurated in September, 2008. The terminal offers up to 20 security lanes, 26 gates, free Wi-Fi, 22 restaurants and food outlets, 25 retail stores, and a large children's area. The 635,000-square-foot terminal was designed to handle up to 20 million passengers per year. 

Under John Cugasi’s leadership for the last three years, the concessions program at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport exceeded $720 million in gross revenues in 2008, including car rental, food and beverage, retail and business services. The concessions program was recently awarded the 2008 Best in Atlanta Real Estate Award from the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and received the 2009 ARN Best Concessions Management Team Award. 

The awards were announced during the 2009 ACI-NA Airport Concessions Conference in Indianapolis, at which roughly 200 representatives of the North American airport concessions industry are in attendance. The purpose of the ACI-NA Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest is to inspire creativity in the industry and to recognize innovative and outstanding airport concessions. These awards help to demonstrate the growing importance of concessions to the total airport experience. 

This year’s contest received more than 160 nominations from airports of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the Greisbach award, 19 other awards were presented in the following categories:

Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence 
John F. Kennedy International Airport, JetBlue Airways – Terminal 5 

Concession Person of the Year 
John Cugasi, Director of Concessions and Retail, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Best New Food and Beverage Concept
1st Place: Bobby Van’s Grill and Steakhouse, John F. Kennedy International Airport 
2nd Place: Camden Food Co., Indianapolis International Airport 
3rd Place: Copper Moon Coffee, Indianapolis International Airport 
Honorable Mention: Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Tampa International Airport 

Best New Retail Concept
1st Place: Just Pop In!, Indianapolis International Airport 
2nd Place: MUJI To GO, John F. Kennedy International Airport 

Best “Green” Concession Practice or Concept 
1st Place: Seattle - Tacoma International Airport 
2nd Place: C-Pier Expansion, Vancouver International Airport 
3rd Place: Concourse D, Portland International Airport 
Honorable Mention: Enroute Spa, Indianapolis International Airport

Best Food and Beverage Program – Medium Airport 
Honorable Mention: Indianapolis International Airport 

Best Food and Beverage Program – Large Airport
1st Place: Terminal C, Newark Liberty International Airport 

Best Specialty Retail Program: - Medium Airport
1st Place: Indianapolis International Airport

Best Specialty Retail Program: - Large Airport 
1st Place: Main Terminal – Pre Security, Tampa International Airport 
2nd Place: D/E Connector, Philadelphia International Airport

Best Convenience Retail Program – Large Airport 
1st Place: Atrium, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport 
2nd Place: Seattle Tacoma International Airport

Entries for this year’s contest were judged by an independent panel comprised of high-level professionals with no vested interest in concession operations, or the outcome of any one airport. In addition to the independent panel, one representative from the previous year’s overall winner was also involved in the judging process.

The ACI-NA Excellence in Concessions Contest, which began in 1998, honors the contributions of Richar A. Griesbach, a long-time industry professional in airport concession programs. Griesbach’s influence on the commercial development of airport extended far beyond his employment with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The Concessions Person of the Year category was added in 2007.