Visitors are about to get more of a taste of Tampa Bay during trips through Tampa International Airport.
Green Iguana, Café Columbia, Cigar City Brewing and Mise En Place are among the local names coming to TIA by March, adding to a mix that is currently heavy on national restaurant chains like T.G.I. Friday's, Starbucks and Burger King.
The overhaul of the concession areas, unveiled Thursday, is tethered in timing to a broader, $20 million modernization of the airport's main terminal. Much of the terminal work, including upgrading half the restrooms, is expected to be finished before delegates from the Republican National Convention arrive in August.
Unlike the terminal makeover, the concession changes won't cost TIA any capital investment. The $5.8 million program is being funded through airport concession vendor HMSHost, Stellar Partners and Clear Channel Advertising.
In return, the airport envisions a payoff of about $1.3 million in extra concession revenue in the first 12 months. It revamped its fiscal 2012 budget to an estimated $17.4 million in food and beverage, retail, duty-free sales and advertising revenue, up from the original $16.9 million estimate.
The Mise En Place wine bar will have a prominent spot in the middle of the main terminal. But visitors will notice more of a Florida flare throughout, with a new Shula Burger and Cigar City Brewing in Airside C, Green Iguana in Airside A (replacing the Jose Cuervo bar), and the Café Columbia in Airside E (replacing the Café Bacardi).
Among other additions:
• New Sunglass Icon kiosks in several locations
• Dog E. Works will become Swarovski, a seller of fine crystal
• New Stella Bar locations
• A Papa John's added to the Burger King location
• Ciao, a "grab and go" store with fresh food and fruit
• The Mindworks store will start selling bulk candy and tickets to Legoland in Winter Haven.
Bhavesh Patel, director of the airport concessions department, said the goal was to improve customer service, add more local concepts and enhance revenue.
Still under development are plans to add automated retail vending, security bin advertising and passenger services like a spa and manicure service that could boost revenue up to $550,000, Patel said. The airport is also considering a Wi-Fi advertising program and allowing advertisers to get their names branded on everything from the garages and jet bridges to business centers and children's play areas.
Jeff Harrington can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8242.