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Cafe shuts its doors at airport; city 'in a bind'

Mar 13, 2014 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The doors to the Airport Cafe at the Riverton Regional Airport did not open for business Monday morning.

Airport division manager Paul Griffin said the restaurant was open Sunday for regular business. He said he is not aware of a reason for the sudden closing of the restaurant the occupies city-owned property at the airport terminal.

City administrator Steven Weaver said leaseholder Deborah Fitzpatrick made recent contact with city staff and confirmed she would submit an official letter of termination of her lease, which was set to expire this month. He also was unaware of the reason for closing.

"As soon as we get this termination letter we will put it out to bid," Weaver said.

The process to select a new leaseholder would begin thereafter, he said, but it will take time because the decision by Fitzpatrick was unexpected.

"This puts in a bind," Weaver said.

Under its agreement with the city, the restaurant must comply with certain stipulations.

"It's suppose to be open for certain periods of time, and it brings an inconvenience to the airport and people flying in and out," Weaver said.

He said the situation would not offer the "seamless transition" the city would like to have with new management. The city plans to advertise for the open restaurant space as soon as the closing is confirmed.

The city was charging $750 per month for rent and to cover utility costs.

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