A Look at the Richard A. Griesbach Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest

ACI-NA's Commercial Management Committee manages the annual ACI-NA Richard A. Griesbach Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest. The purpose of the contest is to promote the innovative spirit within the airport concession industry and to recognize excellence in airport concession programs. The contest allows any member of ACI-NA, regardless of if they work for an airport, concession operator, service provider, or consultancy, to take part, by nominating the concession program, concepts, and/or people that they believe are distinctive and worthy of honor.

Airports of all sizes are encouraged to participate and will only compete against other similarly-sized airports (i.e., small airports compete only against small airports, etc.) In addition, retail, food service, and consumer service operators can participate this year and will only compete against other similar concepts (i.e., food and beverage concepts only compete against other food and beverage concepts, etc.).

2010:

ACI-NA recognized Vancouver International Airport as the Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence winner in the 2010 Airport Concessions Contest. Dick Dickson, chairman of The Paradies Shop, was also recognized as ACI-NA’s Concessions “Person of the Year.”

Vancouver’s concession program offers its customers 167 shops, services and restaurants. It consists of a series of 10 zoned streets and plazas that showcase regional areas of British Columbia. Artwork, water-features, aquariums, and unique interior design and architecture all work together to create mini “town squares” around which food and beverage are focused.

“Now in our thirteenth year of holding the Richard A. Griesbach Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest, ACI-NA congratulates Vancouver as this year’s overall award of excellence winner,” said ACI-NA President Greg Principato. “These award-winning entries help promote the innovative spirit within the airport concessions industry as well as showcase the best programs in North America.”

Under Dick Dickson’s leadership for the last six years, Paradies Shops has been honored with awards for achievement and distinction, including the American Minority Advisory Council’s (AMAC) “Business Partner Award” for the company’s progressive Disadvantaged Business Enterprise partnership plan. Dickson places a high priority on being the best in business and has provided a solid foundation that allows the company to achieve success year after year.

“We are proud to honor Dick Dickson as this year’s ACI-NA Concessions ‘Person of the Year’,” said Principato. “Dick’s tenacity and commitment not only to The Paradies Shop but to the overall airport retail industry serves as an inspiration to his colleagues as well as those under his leadership.”

The awards were announced during the 2010 ACI-NA Airport Concessions Conference in Phoenix, at which more than 300 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 for passengers.

This year’s contest received 140 nominations from airports of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the Griesbach award, 21 other awards were presented in the following categories. Please click here to view the 2010 Concessions Winners.

2009:

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.

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 Richard A. Griesbach, a long-time industry professional in airport concession programs. Greisbach’s influence on the commercial development of airports extended far beyond his employment with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The Concessions Person of the Year category was added in 2007.