KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council voted 9-2, with one abstention, on Thursday to extend the Kansas City International Airport concessions contract to Vantage Airport Group.
Councilman Dan Fowler spoke on why he believed Vantage had the best proposal. Fowler cited them presenting the best MBE/WBE subcontracting plan along with the best opportunity for local businesses to participate in KCI.
He then abstained from voting — not due to a lack of wanting to vote but to remove himself due to a "conflict of interest."
Councilwoman Katheryn Shields motioned to re-refer the issue to committee and to have a public hearing, which was seconded.
The conversation then moved to whether the council members felt as though there had been enough time to confidently make a decision.
Shields argued that since this is an important decision, it warrants a public conversation. She said in closed session citizens cannot ask questions or challenge the plan as to whether or not this is the proper proposal.
Councilman Brandon Ellington was concerned due to a lack of data and transparency.
Ultimately, Shields' motion failed 10-2 and the bid passed 9-2-1.
Rob van Snik, senior director, commercial development and leader of the KCI concessions project, said that Vantage is "delighted with today's City Council vote" in a city council news release.
“Our commitment to providing opportunities for local small businesses, inclusion of beloved local brands, minority-owned involvement at every level of the project, and strong partnership with local labor unions will help ensure we deliver a concession program that creates a true sense of place, which visitors to this great city will embrace and Kansas Citians can be proud of and call their own,” van Snik said in the release.
The full Vantage renderings can be viewed here.