New vendor taking over restaurant at Idaho Falls Airport in December

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Kathryn’s Lounge at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – Idaho Falls Regional Airport’s search for a new vendor to develop, manage and operate the restaurant and general retail concessions is now complete.

Tailwind Concessions recently signed a 10-year lease with the airport and will become the new vendor Dec. 1.

Jeffrey Switzer, the president of Tailwind, tells EastIdahoNews.com the company was chosen to become the new vendor when the airport began its search in September. Switzer says the size of the airport works for Tailwind’s business model.

“It’s a growing airport with great demographics. There’s a lot going on here,” Switzer says. “We usually see better revenue than the previous concessionaire in the first year, but in the second year it takes off because more people know about it.”

The airport’s search for a new vendor happened in conjunction with a terminal-expansion project, which was completed in September. Rick Cloutier, the airport director, recently told us expansions to the airport provide an opportunity to expand the services currently offered and attract more business for passengers.

Idaho Falls native Kathryn Anderson opened the current restaurant and gift shop nearly 20 years ago. We reached out to her for comment Monday. We did not receive a response, but she told us in September she was unhappy with the city’s efforts to replace the restaurant.

RELATED | City looking to expand dining, retail options at Idaho Falls Regional Airport

Customers grab a snack at Kathryn’s Lounge while they wait for their flight | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

The restaurant and gift shops will be refurbished over the next couple weeks. Switzer says the restaurant’s name and logo is still being determined, but will be in place on opening day.

“We suggested some names for each of the spaces (we will be servicing) in our proposal, but we will be working with the airport (to finalize that),” Switzer says.

The restaurant will have hoodless kitchen equipment to serve hot breakfast, lunch and dinner items to the airports’ fluctuating crowd of travelers. Menu items will include breakfast sandwiches, burgers, and pizza, along with other snacks and beverages. There will also be a full-service bar.

“We’re excited to be here. The airport’s going to grow, and we’re going to grow with it,” Switzer says.

The restaurant’s hours of operation will be based on the flight schedule. Switzer says it will open daily an hour before the first morning flight arrives and close when the last party flies out.

Tailwind Concessions currently operates 20 locations across the U.S. The original Tailwind Deli started in 2001 and operated at the Aspen, Colorado airport, according to its website. The Idaho Falls location will be the vendor’s 21st location nationwide.

Tailwind Concessions is currently hiring bartenders, cooks and cashiers for the new bar and restaurant. If you’d like to apply, email resumes/applications to info@tailwindconcessions.com.

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