Yampa Valley Regional Airport bids are next for takeoff | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Regional Airport bids are next for takeoff

YVRA hopes to add baggage carousel, modern restaurant

— Officials at Yampa Valley Regional Airport are ready to seek construction bids for a two-year project that would add a baggage carousel and a modernized restaurant to the terminal in time for ski season 2011-12.

"The bids are scheduled to be opened around the end of May, depending on the actual release date, and construction is to begin in early July," Airport Manager Dave Ruppel said.

He was hoping to advertise for bids as soon as Thursday, he said, pending final approval by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The new baggage carousel is expected to ease congestion in the terminal, but the new restaurant space, with a gas fireplace and stone surround, will offer the sizzle. The construction will relocate the restaurant from its current second-floor location to the ground floor, making it more visible to the traveling public.

"The current restaurant contract expires about the time this new area will be coming on line, in summer 2011, so whatever vendor wins the new restaurant (contract) will start operation in the new space," Ruppel said. "We expect that the new restaurant will be in full operation in mid- to late 2011, prior to the 2011-2012 winter season."

The new carousel will be built in an open space just outside the current carousel area, where the arriving passengers circulate until it's their turn at the carousel. Ruppel said he'd prefer to defer carousel construction another year rather than leave a construction area in passenger areas during the coming ski season. His staff can make it through another winter without the new carousel, he said, but if they were forced to wall off the unfinished construction area, losing the open space would be a greater hardship.

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When the construction is complete, travelers should notice an increase in the amount of natural light flooding the arrival area. It will be attributable to a wall of large, north-facing windows, Ruppel said.

YVRA runways closed to private pilots in June

Yampa Valley Regional Airport Manager Dave Ruppel told the Routt County Board of Commissioners this week that he has issued a “notice to airmen” alerting pilots of general aviation aircraft that they will not be able to land at the airport east of Hayden for five days, June 7 to 11, while asphalt sealing work takes place.

The work will not affect commercial aviation, Ruppel said. Workers will plan around scheduled United Express operations.

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