Grand Rapids, MI - The newly renovated and expanded Concourse B at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) was officially christened today, following a ribbon cutting by airport officials and special guests.
Construction began in June 2013 and included expansion of both concourse A & B providing new amenities, and an overall fresh look. Two new airline gates and passenger hold rooms, restrooms, the MI Tap Room Restaurant & Bar, and Grand Rapids Magazine travel store were among the renovations on Concourse B. New signage, terrazzo flooring, carpeting, and gate seating were also included. Concourse A renovations included an expansion of passenger hold rooms, new seating, carpeting, updates to food and beverage, and a new Grand Rapids Magazine travel store. A business area featuring an expanded work space and charging stations were also among the changes on Concourse A.
“Our primary goal is to ensure travelers have a positive experience when transitioning through our airport,” said GFIA Executive Director Brian Ryks. “The airport is the first and last impression when visiting our region and it is important travelers get a sense of what West Michigan has to offer as soon as they step off the aircraft.”
West Michigan-themed murals featuring tulips, downtown buildings, shorelines and the Calder Plaza now adorn the walls at each gate. The MI Tap Room features several local Michigan craft beers on tap as well as a local-themed menu.
“We are very proud of the strong partnership that HMSHost and Gerald R. Ford International Airport have cultivated over the years, and we could not be more excited for what the future holds in the newly expanded Concourses,” said HMSHost Senior Director of Business Development Bryan Loden. “With restaurants like MI Tap Room and Great American Bagel, it is greatly rewarding to offer Michigan travelers access to first-rate food as well as some fantastic local products.”
The newly renovated Grand Rapids Magazine travel stores, operated by World Duty Free Group, feature traditional snacks, magazines and travel items. New features include a refrigerated snacks section, and a selection of West Michigan-themed products.
“Giving the Grand Rapids Magazine name to a travel retail store is a great way to extend the visibility of their brand, bringing an unmistakable sense of place to Gerald R. Ford International Airport passengers,” said Sharon Adler, Regional Head of Operations for World Duty Free Group.
The total cost of the project for Concourse A & B came to $12.3 million. Alliiance and Tower Pinkster were project designers. In addition, The Christman Company served as the general contractor for the project.