City and Airport Officials Welcome First Launch Pad Operator to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

July 16, 2019

For Cleveland native and entrepreneur Darrell Solomon, opening a new Aircuts & Day Spa at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is a dream come true. On July 15, officials and guests cut the ribbon on this first Launch Pad operator's new barber shop and spa at CLE. This innovative program gives local startups and small business owners a unique opportunity to operate a business in one of the region's most dynamic retail environments.

Launch Pad operators receive 12-month leases for a unit or kiosk in one of the airport's busiest concourses along with training, sales and marketing support. Mr. Solomon's concept was selected following a formal review process last year. Locally, he is known for his famous cuts and grooming services at Tarbloodersports Barber Shop.

The grand opening festivities included remarks by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson; Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Director Robert Kennedy; Ben Zandi, president and CEO of Fraport USA; and Aircuts & Day Spa founder Darrell Solomon. There were also giveaways and spa goodies for passengers throughout the day.

“Customers are excited to have the services at the airport and love the convenience factor,” said Tina LaForte, vice president of Fraport Cleveland.

Fraport USA's Launch Pad program was piloted at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, where it is in its second year and has four local operators.