With success of new North Terminal, MIA weighs retail options at Central Terminal

April 16, 2012 03:45PM

From left: MIA's new North Terminal and its aging Central Terminal

Sales are booming in concessions at Miami International Airport’s new North Terminal, the Miami Herald reported, and that’s prompted Miami-Dady County commissioners to consider soliciting bids for new shops and restaurants for the aging Central Terminal.

At 7.7 percent, MIA saw the largest increase in traffic of any U.S. airport last year, and that’s bouyed concession sales. The airport’s share of those sales increased 30 percent year-over-year through the end of last September to $17 million annually. In turn, operating revenue increased 16 percent, which could be crucial to remedying the airport’s growing debt.

The Herald credits the North Terminal’s revamped concession strategy, which put an emphasis on shops and restaurants that look and feel like Miami, with much of the improved sales.

The North Terminal’s success is one factor that has turned Miami-Dade’s attention to the Central Terminal. While commissioners and airport officials insist the existing retail is performing up to expectations, it believes increased competition would boost the retail outlook of the terminal.

But existing tenants are fighting back in hopes of keeping their spaces. They argue that with a long-term redevelopment plan in place for the Central Terminal, it doesn’t make sense to bring in new tenants at this time. They say the business would have difficulty growing together with their surroundings completely in flux. [Miami Herald] and [Miami Herald]