DFW AIRPORT (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake. It’s all part of a fight over concessions at DFW International Airport.
Some of the restaurants there include Cool River, Champps, and Cantina Laredo. Concessions bring in millions of dollars to the airport.
But now, administrators say one of their top minority-owned concessionaires, Star Concessions, owned by Gilbert Aranza, has violated some of its leases, and owes the airport nearly $300,000 at least in rent.
If he doesn’t pay, the airport board may end some of his leases.
Airport board member Betty Culbreath says, “Business people have to abide by the rules and regulations.”
The airport says Star Concessions has been improperly deducting the state tax on each liquor bottle they open from the gross receipts it reports to the airport. Those gross receipts determine their rent.
Last June, the airport board found out that about a dozen concessions owed $750,000. Records show since then, all of them have paid the airport back except for one: Aranza’s Star Concessions.
Culbreath says, “we start making exceptions for folks, where will it end?” In a statement, Star Concessions says “when the airport board committee objectively and fairly looks at the actual facts, we look forward to a long relationship with them…”
Culbreath says the airport is committed to minority-owned businesses, “But the airport also has to support and enforce its policy otherwise there would be no airport.”
Airport board members will vote on the leases next week.