MILWAUKEE (April 3, 2019) – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has announced a major refresh of the restaurants and retail shops at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, which is owned and operated by Milwaukee County. In all, 22 restaurants and retail shops will be remodeled or replaced by next year, significantly enhancing the experience for the more than seven million travelers who choose MKE each year.
“Today’s announcement features an outstanding mix of local brands that reflect the spirit and culture of Milwaukee, as well as established national brands that travelers know and trust,” County Executive Abele said. “Airports continuously update and modernize their retail and dining offerings to stay current with passenger expectations, and Milwaukee County is excited to move forward with this refresh.”
“HMSHost is proud to be a part of MKE’s transformation, and we are honored to bring passengers a diverse choice of exceptional restaurants,” said HMSHost President & CEO Steve Johnson. “We would like to thank Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport and Milwaukee County for our continued partnership to enhance the Airport experience and give travelers memorable dining options.”
As part of the reconfiguration, the Mitchell Gallery of Flight museum will be moved to where the Milwaukee Marketplace is now located, offering a permanent location for the aviation museum’s collection. The USO Lounge will also move to a pre-security location.
“The new retail spaces in partnership with Paradies Lagardère represent a capital investment of nearly $7 million in our airport. And we’re doing all of this with no property tax dollars from Milwaukee County,” Abele added. MKE’s new agreement with Paradies includes 30% participation from local Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, which exceeds the County’s goal of 25%. This partnership highlights Milwaukee County’s commitment to racial equity by supporting local businesses owned by women and people of color.”
“Paradies Lagardère is thrilled to introduce these new shops to MKE,” said Gregg Paradies, president and CEO, Paradies Lagardère. “We’re not only bringing popular, internationally-known brands, but several locally-influenced concepts. We’re confident that the retail program Paradies Lagardère has developed for MKE, an airport we’ve had a long-standing, successful relationship with, will offer travelers an enhanced customer experience unlike any other.”
“While these renovations and replacements won’t change the footprint or layout of the Airport, they will enhance the look of the Airport and appeal to today’s travelers,” Airport Director Brian Dranzik said. “The changes will also increase revenue for the Airport, which can help us bring more air service to MKE.”
The RFP for the retail improvements was issued last year.