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KCI new terminal concession bid up for discussion again Wednesday morning

Build KCI Drone Photo
Posted at 9:00 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 13:54:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — As construction on KCI's new terminal continues, the next hurdle the city council faces is who will fill the terminal with shops and restaurants for passengers to enjoy.

The main dispute is making sure the concession workers currently at terminals B and C will have a contract with Unite Here Local 74 to work at the new terminal when it opens in 2023.

The 65-million-dollar bid from Vantage Airport Group felt good with most council members.

"I think from a cash standpoint they are the ones guaranteeing us the most money which is obviously important," said KCMO Councilman Kevin O'Neill.

Small businesses in the Kansas City area who will expand their footprint at the new KCI terminal under this bid were also excited.

"It’s a huge opportunity, they’ve kind of taken me under their wing and really mentored me," LaRonda Lanear, owner of We Got It Covered Food Service said.

Another business owner also agrees.

"I think that they’ve done a really good job of digging deep into the history of our city and pulling out the parts that began this place," Nikole Ammer, owner of City Market Coffee said.

80% of the businesses are local in this 15-year contract, estimated to generate $1.5 billion dollars.

But at last week’s council committee meeting, one concern brought up was that Vantage Airport Group didn’t have a labor agreement representing the concession workers at the current terminal.

Councilman O’Neill believes it will work out.

"I’ve had great discussions with all the leaders in vantage about union contracts I think they are going to be fine there," he said.

The other four bids were kept secret, but it's a process O'Neill said the city uses to protect the companies who want to do business with the city.

"We have a process that we’ve used for years and it seems to work and you don’t change the process during an RFP it’s just bad business," he said.

Unite Here Local 74 tells KSHB 41 News they are working on a labor agreement with Vantage Airport Group.

The Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee will meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. If they approve it, the bid heads to the full city council as early as next Thursday.