Friday, September 4, 2009

Airport rejects Horizonís plea for rent hiatus

Attorney calls plan Ďscary ideaí


By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer

The Friedman Memorial Airport Authority on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Horizon Air to have its monthly space rent suspended for three months during its off-season.

Horizon's proposal was pitched to the airport board by Maurice Charlat, president of the Fly Sun Valley Alliance, a civic and business group, who said the estimated $10,200 rental payment covering October through December would be deducted by Horizon from the minimum revenue guarantee provided by Sun Valley Resort.

"The community is doing nothing to help with the [revenue guarantee]," Charlat said.

However, airport authority attorney Barry Luboviski sparked opposition to the proposal when he said other airport tenants, such as the terminal gift shop and car rental companies with terminal space, might understandably request the same suspended rent during slack months when business is slower. He called it a "scary idea," pointing out that the airport's operating costs remain fixed and any effort to reduce revenues to adjust for seasonal ups and downs would be unwise.

Authority member Ron Fairfax agreed.

"It would be hard to do it (suspend rent) for one and not the others," he said.

No member put forward a motion so the proposal effectively was rejected.




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