PHOENIX, Ariz. – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), the trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, last night announced the winners of the 2022 ACI-NA Airport Concessions Awards, which celebrate the resilience of airports, concessionaires, and business partners. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) was announced as the winner of the Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence, and the 2022 ACI-NA Concessions Person of the Year was awarded to Dawn Hunter of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
“This year’s recipients exemplify the best of the airport and concessions industry,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Throughout the COVID pandemic, airports and their partners have worked in unison to protect the health and safety of passengers and employees, and this year’s winners have been at the forefront of those efforts. We look forward to continuing to work with our members on these important issues as travel edges closer to pre-pandemic levels.”
The awards were announced during a gala dinner at the 2022 ACI-NA Business of Airports Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Nearly 550 commercial management, business diversity, human resources and finance professionals from the North American airport industry attended the conference.
2022 Award Winners
Richard A. Griesbach Award for Excellence in Airport Concessions: This award is ACI-NA’s highest honor for airport concessions. The Griesbach Award considers an airport’s entire concession program — including food service, retail, and consumer services — in terms of the overall mix, quality, brands, sales, and build-out.
The 2022 winner of the Richard A. Griesbach Award for Excellence in Airport Concessions is Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) for its “The New SLC” concession program. The New SLC is the first new hub airport built in the U.S. in the 21st Century. Its concession program raises the bar for passengers, concessionaires, and airlines alike. It offers a highly efficient operating environment and a variety of restaurants accommodating diverse tastes, dietary restrictions, and price points so no passenger is left behind.
Concessions Person of the Year: This award recognizes a professional working at an airport — as a concession operator, a service provider, or at a consultancy — who has contributed to enhancing the North American airport concession industry through their time, involvement, and expertise.
The 2022 Concessions Person of the Year is Dawn Hunter of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Hunter’s efforts have added more than 50 restaurants and shops to SEA between 2019 and 2021, and due to her leadership and excellence in performance, more women- and minority-owned businesses (WMBE) are now operating at the airport than at any other time in its over 70-year history.
Adaptability Awards: This category recognizes airports, concessionaires, and/or service providers that have demonstrated adaptability and versatility to maintain a safe concessions program while preserving the customer experience during the COVID pandemic.
- The 2022 Airport Adaptability Award winner is YYC Calgary International Airport.
- The 2022 Retail Operator Adaptability Award winner is Paradies Lagardère.
- The 2022 Concessionaire Adaptability Award winner is Mission Yogurt, Inc.
Concept Awards: This category recognizes concessionaires, service providers, or single concession unit operators that have demonstrated innovative approaches and effectiveness of the partnership for the airport, passengers, and/or community.
- The 2022 Best New Food and Beverage (Full-Service Concept) award winner is the Vyne Washington Tasting Room at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), operated by SSP America.
- The 2022 Best New Food and Beverage (Quick-Service Concept) award winner is Fillings and Emulsions at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), operated by SSP America.
- The 2022 Best New Local Concept award winner is Floret by Café Flora at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), operated by Conviviality, Inc.
- The 2022 Best New National Brand Concept award winner is Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers at Will Rogers World Airport (OKC), operated by Paradies Lagardère.
- The 2022 Best New News & Gift Concept award winner is the Locks and Maison de la Presse at Ottawa International Airport (YOW), operated by Paradies Lagardère.
- The 2022 Best New Retail Concept award winner is Empress Gin at Victoria International Airport (YYJ), operated by Victoria Distillers.
- The 2022 Best New Passenger Experience Concept award winner is Capital One Lounge at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), operated by Plaza Premium Group.
Best Employee Recognition Program Awards: This category recognizes an airport and a concessionaire, service provider, or single concession unit operator that supports an employee concessions recognition program from a large, medium, or small airport. Award recipients have demonstrated innovative approaches and effectiveness of efforts to recognize employees.
- The 2022 Best Airport Employee Recognition Program award winner is Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
- The 2022 Best Concessionaire Employee Recognition Program award winner is HMSHost.