Don't bring your appetite to Abilene Regional Airport.
The restaurant and gift shop in the airport terminal closed Thursday without any warning from Game Time Food & Beverage Services, the company operating the retail space.
The airport's director noticed two Game Time employees packing boxes Thursday morning, said Lenka Wright, the city of Abilene's information coordinator. The employees told the director they had been instructed by Game Time's president to close the store.
On Friday, company officials told Don Green, the airport's director, the two businesses weren't sustainable, Wright said. They didn't offer an explanation for closing the Game Time Restaurant & Sports Bar and the Buffalo Trading Post gift shop without warning.
Three employees worked for the restaurant and gift shop, Wright said.
Game Time is an Illinois-based company. Company officials could not be reached Friday.
Game Time had been a vendor at the airport since August 2005. The company's current lease at the Abilene airport lasts until May 2008. Restaurant service at the airport over the years has been sporadic. A previous restaurant closed in 1999.
The Abilene City Council, which meets Thursday, may discuss whether to take legal action against Game Time for breaking its contract, Wright said.
For now, passengers can get drinks from a vending machine. A vending machine with snacks will be in place starting Monday, city officials said.
"We ask passengers for their patience while the airport works through this unexpected situation by an independent company," Green said in a press release. "We are working diligently to have a new vendor come in to provide food and gift shop services for airport visitors as quickly as possible."
The restaurant and gift shop's revenue dropped from 2005 to 2006. Revenue figures for 2007 were unavailable Friday. According to Reporter-News archives, airport statistics showed the two stores pulled in about $16,000 in September 2005, compared to just over $14,000 in September 2006.
Passenger traffic at the airport has been steady from 2006 to 2007. Wright said 8,178 passengers boarded planes in August 2006, compared to 8,059 in August 2007.
Last year, the stores' manager said employees who work in and around the airport sustained the restaurant and that several managers had overseen the stores since they opened.
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