Luxury lounges, upscale retail, specialty food coming to SMF
Art gallery? Check. Flavored water bar? Got it. Store that sells whimsical artsy socks and little else? Yep.
How about a cool lounge for fliers willing to pay to get in? Two of them, in fact.
In an effort to be more fun and fancier for fliers - and boost rent revenues - Sacramento International Airport this spring will add a dozen new amenities, giving the passenger terminals more of a luxury mall feel.
New Sacramento airport executive Cindy Nichol, who formerly worked at the Portland and San Francisco airports, said the upgrades reflect a trend at airports: At a time when plane cabins feel like cattle cars, and security lines a nuisance, airports are striving to make their terminals relaxing, fun and “experiential.”
“We’re looking to delight our passengers,” Nichol said. “The airport will have a strong sense of place. That is part of our vision - to keep up with the times and offer things that are going to intrigue people.”
That includes two “common use” lounges, called Escape Lounge, one in each terminal.
They will be available to passengers on any airline to get away from the crowds in a more relaxed setting where the price of entry includes business accommodations and meals cooked by local chefs. The current online booking price at the nearest Escape Lounge, at Oakland airport, is $44 per person, which includes food.
The airport also will open The Gallery at SMF, an art gallery in Terminal B that will highlight local artists, whose works will hang for sale. First up is Sacramento artist Tim Collom.
New shopping venues include:
- A fanciful sock store called Popsox
- A Jaynee Cakes patisserie
- Baggallini, a purse and luggage store founded by two flight attendants
- Two locally based coffee bars: Temple Coffee in one terminal and Chocolate Fish in the other
- The Well, a flavored water bar, where fliers can sit for a drink, or fill their bottle for flight
- InMotion, an electronics and technology store
- No Boundaries clothing store
The redo is expected to begin in February. Work will last about three months.
The airport, meanwhile, has refocused its efforts to land a developer to build an airport hotel, replacing the former on-site hotel that was torn down in 2008 to make room for the new Terminal B.
Officials previously planned to build a hotel on or next to Terminal B. Now, airport officials say they believe the best site is on airport land next to Interstate 5, where the hotel will be visible to passing car and truck travelers, attracting more of them to stay there, as well as fliers.