Airport announces shops and restaurants for new concourse and ‘street pricing’
SALT LAKE CITY — As passenger traffic at Salt Lake City International Airport takes off again, construction crews are picking up the pace on phase 2 of the new airport. Several gates on the newest concourse will open in one year. Project leaders on Tuesday gave a media tour of the new construction to show off the progress.
Many Utahns have already flown in and out of the new $4.5 billion airport. Concourses A and B West opened in September 2020. Concourse A East is buzzing with activity right now with approximately 750 workers a day.
“These are long phase programs. But, everything from this point on just gets better, and better, and better,” Mike Williams, program director of the Salt Lake Airport Redevelopment Program said.
Concourse A East is a massive shell right now several football fields long. It will serve only Delta flights.
“We have a great team here that’s been working together for several years, now,” Williams said. “So, we have daily challenges that we don’t think are a really big deal, normal project stuff.”
Focused on getting the building materials, and workers they need.
There will be 22 gates in in Concourse A East. The first four gates in the new concourse will open in May 2023. The remaining 18 gates will open in November 2023.
“We have more and more passengers coming to the airport every day,” the program director said. “So, any gate we can deliver early is really going to be put to use immediately.”
Passenger volume has risen steadily since groundbreaking in 2014. The drop off in passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, enabled construction crews to get ahead of schedule. Originally, they planned to keep a couple of old concourses open during this phase. But lighter traffic enabled them to knock them down sooner.
“By getting rid of the old airport all at once, we are able to advance the project schedule by two years,” said Bill Wyatt, executive director of Salt Lake City Department of Airports. “So, what you’re seeing around us now is actually going to arrive to you sooner than was originally planned.”
The airport will add 19 new concessionaires with some local names.
“We want only the best available for the customers here at the airport,” Wyatt said.
Salt Lake International is also going with “street pricing,” which means you won’t pay more for meals or retail items at the airport than you do at their stores in town.
“For, let’s say Blue Iguana… If you charge $8 for a burrito in your downtown location, that’s what it’s going to be here,” Wyatt said.
The airport expects a busy summer, back to pre-pandemic numbers. On Monday, more than 22,000 passengers came through the front door, compared to 26,000 in early May, three years ago.
“We think we are positioned really well to deliver this project,” said Williams.
The safety team this morning was also recognized with a prestigious award from Utah Occupational Safety and Health for their safety record during the project.
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