ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta City Council has approved concessions contracts at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport worth more than $3 billion.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution  reports the retail contracts and another series of contracts involving food and beverage were approved with a 12-3 vote on Tuesday evening.

The city’s aviation department is estimated to receive more than $51 million per year from gross food and beverage sales from the contracts, which coincide with the May opening of a new international terminal. Critics wanted more vetting of the process and bidders.

The contracts cover operating rights for 150 restaurant, bar and retail locations at Atlanta’s airport.

The Varsity, Shane’s Rib Shack, Willy’s Mexicana Grill and Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint are among the new brands that winners of the contracts will introduce to the airport.

Following the vote this statement was released by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office:

“Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the economic engine not only for the City of Atlanta and the metropolitan region, but also for the state of Georgia,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “These new concessions contracts will generate $51 million in annual revenues, an increase of more than $23 million, and ensure that the 90 million travelers who pass through Hartsfield-Jackson each year have world-class food, beverage and retail options.  With the opening of the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International terminal this spring, Atlanta’s position as the global capital of the Southeast will be secure for decades to come.”

 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the single largest employer in the state with 58,000 direct employees. It generates an annual economic impact in the metropolitan Atlanta area of $32.6 billion. The annual rent from the new concessions program at Hartsfield-Jackson is projected to generate about $2 million per month in additional revenue to the airport.

 Read more here

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