SDFMon 7:55 AM EST
Darrell Watson, Director of Properties for the Louisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA), was recently named “Concessions Person of the Year” by the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) at its annual Airport Concessions Conference in Atlanta, GA. This industry award is given to an individual who has “contributed to enhancing the North American airport concession industry through their time, involvement and expertise.” “Darrell’s skills and leadership have allowed the airport to expand its concessions and secure new agreements with business partners in the aviation community,” said LRAA Executive Director Skip Miller.
“We applaud this recognition for his hard work and dedication.” During the past two years, Watson oversaw the proposal process for food-and-beverage and giftand-news concessions at Louisville International Airport. The result was not only significant capital investments at the airport, but also higher revenues and an increased level of customer satisfaction—particularly with those that celebrate and reflect the Louisville community—Churchill Downs, Heine Brothers Coffee, Louisville Slugger and Woodford Reserve. In addition, under Watson’s guidance, curbside valet service was introduced and a low-cost wireless Internet option negotiated for airport guests.
Watson recently earned his accreditation from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and serves as President of the Kentucky Aviation Association. Also at ACI-NA’s annual Airport Concessions Conference, Louisville International Airport received third place honors in the Best Specialty Retail Program (The Paradies Shops) and Best Food-andBeverage Program (HMSHost) categories.