Nonprofit likely to land at airport

Achievement House, which helps the developmentally disabled, expected to get contract to handle concessions at county facility

bcuddy@thetribunenews.comDecember 8, 2012 

A nonprofit aimed at helping the developmentally disabled will take over the concession stand at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, should the Board of Supervisors give the go-ahead Tuesday.

Airport officials are recommending that Achievement House get the job after the contract of concessionaire Alexis Enterprises expires in January. Alexis has been the second concessionaire since 2006.

Airport Manager Richard Howell said Alexis owners had told him they didn’t have time to manage this as well as their several other business operations.

Among its other goals, Achievement House seeks to develop workplace skills, according to Howell.

He said the group already operates food and beverage concessions at Camp Roberts, the Laguna Lake Golf Course, Atascadero’s Colony Park and the Santa Maria Transportation Hub.

Because the location will have an Achievement House staff member on hand, the concession will have two people to serve the public rather than the current single clerk. That will increase the level of service to customers, Howell wrote in a staff report to the Board of Supervisors.

“A real win-win situation for everyone,” Howell told  The Tribune in an email.

The county plans to give the nonprofit a break on its first-year rent. It is inserting a contract provision that says it won’t have to pay rent for any month when gross receipts are less than $15,000, a figure it does not expect the concessionaire to reach.

After Alexis, which took over the snack bar and gift shop in 2010, said it would not renew its contract, the county sought someone else to run the operation, which Howell describes as “popular and needed.”

Achievement House was the only one to step up.

The Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the county government center, 1055 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo. It has placed this contract on its so-called “consent agenda,” which is where it puts noncontroversial items it does not intend to discuss.

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