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Kansas City-area businesses 'excited' to be part of new terminal at KCI

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Posted at 5:11 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 18:35:50-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The concession areas at the new KCI terminal will feature several local businesses. Many are excited to be a part of the new venture and catering to thousands of travelers.

"It’s going to open up a lot of doors for me," said LaRonda Lanear, owner and founder of We Got It Covered Food Service.

Lanear will create a new shop called Safi Fresh in the new terminal.

"It’s healthy options, we’ll have salads wraps and bowls... just something fun, we have like a selfie wall for them to take pictures under so they can share our business with everybody on social media," Lanear said.

After a turbulent year, Lanear hopes it will make her business take off.

"The pandemic slowed down a lot for us, yeah, it hit us pretty hard, so when Vantage came and they responded like 'oh we love your idea, your concept'... they kind of threw us a lifeline a little bit," Lanear said.

The Vantage Airport Group, out of Canada, said it’s investing 65-million dollars into KCI to develop new shops and restaurants in the terminal. They expect those businesses to generate $1.5 billion in sales, with $50 million in sales tax going to the city.

The group said 80% of the shops will be from local owners.

"It’s just so cool to be part of something where they are going to make the airport feel like Kansas City," Nikole Ammer, owner of City Market Coffee, said. "I think that a lot of people don’t know how amazing Kansas City is until they come here and so those people with their layovers, i think that will give them a taste and they will come back in the future."

Her neighbors, just feet away at City Market, are also looking forward to the new venture.

"This is a really incredible opportunity and as its unfolded over the last 6 months, we just realized how incredibly grateful we are to be involved in this process," Sarah Darby, owner and operator of Bloom Baking Company, said.

"Now to the opportunity to show the rest of the world the simplicity and the deliciousness of our cuisine, really cool," Cristian Maciel, owner and operator of Taste of Brazil, said.

The KCMO Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee will have a hearing on the bids for space Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., before the full council votes.