Aberdeen, S.D. Airport Board Looking at Eatery Options

According to his agreement with the city, Jim Sandvig will continue to operate the SkyBar Cafe at Aberdeen Regional Airport until May 10.

Already, the airport has received inquiries from interested groups or individuals, said Dave Osborn, city transportation director.

Osborn told the airport board that the city could consider offering the business to a new person rent-free, and that person could operate it as an independent contractor with very few expenses.

In the coming weeks the process for deciding Sandvig's successor at the airport will be determined.

"I have talked to a number of interested individuals and groups, and I should hear from them next week," Osborn said.

He also noted that the airport would probably not have to advertise for bids for a new operator, although some board members said they would prefer the process be public.

Whatever the case, the board hopes to be able to have a new operator in the eatery right away to avoid any down time between when Sandvig leaves and the new person takes over.

Last year the city spent about $75,000 on remodeling and equipment to set up Sandvig's lunch counter/coffee bar in the new terminal's observation area.

Sandvig came forward to operate the eatery when the city could not come to a rental agreement with Ron Erickson, who owned and operated the Airport Cafe and Lounge in the old terminal.

Erickson has since relocated his restaurant across the street.