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D/FW Airport board committee votes to give on-site valet operator another three-year contract

After much discussion on Tuesday afternoon, a Dallas/Fort Worth Airport board committee approved another three-year contract for its on-site valet operator, Parking Concepts Inc.
The contract now goes before the full board on Thursday for a vote.

The committee also authorized three-year permits for off-airport parking operators. But the permits stipulate that the airport will no longer reimburse airport exit fees while forbidding the off-site operators from soliciting business at the airport and accepting passengers without a reservation.

Other private valet firms at the airport have criticized the contract with PCI. At Tuesday's meeting, FreedomPark argued that it should be allowed to pick up valet passengers without a reservation, which it could do until late 2008.

"It has changed the playing field to make it uneven between FreedomPark and PCI," Steven Wolens, FreedomPark's attorney, told the board on Tuesday, asking the board to reinstate that service. "It hurts the customers."

Wolens added that ending the reimbursement of exit fees would cost his client about $300,000 a year.

In a report prepared for the board, airport staff said that off-site valet companies paid about $561,000 in exit fees in fiscal 2010 and were reimbursed $38,000, or 6.7 percent.

Currently, off-site valet firms pay the airport 10 percent of its gross revenues made at the facility. As part of its contract, PCI pays the airport 22 percent of its annual gross sales up to $4.2 million, 35 percent for revenues between $4.2 million and $6 million, 45 percent for revenues between $6 million and $8 million, and 50 percent for revenues over $8 million.

In fiscal 2010, the airport received $1.87 million in valet parking revenue from four valet providers: PCI, FreedomPark, Airport Valet and Parking Spot. The firms generated $14.15 million in valet parking sales that year.

Airport staffers told the board that they wanted to have new parking policies, contracts and permits in place as the airport begins its seven-year terminal renovation program. Starting on April 11, about 400 spaces in the northernmost parking section of Terminal A will be closed off. The entire section will then be closed on May 11. Armin Cruz, D/FW's vice president of parking, said he expects the parking section's closure to displace 900 terminal parkers.

In other board committee actions, the committee approved two new leases on American Airlines' hangar No. 1 and hangar No. 2. American agreed to pay an annual rent of $2.8 million, up from the $1.6 million it paid under its previous agreement with the airport.

Board members were also told that airport net revenues were up 40 percent compared with what airport staff had budgeted so far for fiscal 2011. Rental car, parking, concessions and commercial development revenues were all up in the first four months of the fiscal period. Staff also said that Super Bowl merchandise kiosks generated $455,000 in sales, contributing $46,000 in total revenue to the airport.
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