Press Releases


June 21, 2007 – Blue Grass Airport is pleased to announce the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Airport Board awarded contracts for new retail and restaurant facilities. The new facilities will open in Fall 2007.

The Paradies Shops, an airport retailer with 170 concessions at 39 airports, will operate a new three-concept Marketplace that includes a Keeneland Shop, Paddock Shop and convenience store. The Keeneland Shop will be located on the first level of the terminal—pre-security. The design of the shop will be reflective of the gift shop at Keeneland, including natural oak paneling, brass sconces and chandelier and even a 50" plasma screen providing live video feeds from Keeneland races. The shop will provide an upscale merchandise mix of Keeneland apparel and gifts. Post-security, a CNBC News Lexington store will provide travelers with a broad selection of news, magazines, books and sundries. The Paradies Shops will also continue to operate the highly-successful New York Times Bookstore in Concourse B.

Creative Host Services Inc. will operate upgraded food and beverage facilities at Blue Grass Airport. Current airport food facilities will be replaced with an array of eating options designed specifically for travelers. Pre-security, Creative Host Services will operate a Quizno's sandwich shop serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition, they will open Knob Creek Tavern, which will serve customers its signature bourbon and Kentucky mint juleps.

Beyond the security checkpoint, Creative Host Services will open deSha's American Tavern, modeled after deSha's American Restaurant in downtown Lexington. Concourse B will include a coffee and pastry shop—Caffé Ritazza—and Concourse C will include a Quizno's kiosk for travelers looking for a "grab-and-go" option prior to their flight.

"These new concessions will provide our customers with high-quality food and shopping experiences," said Michael Gobb, executive director at Blue Grass Airport. "Customers will be able to select from a variety of food options that are designed to meet the lifestyle of today's travelers. Whether it is a quick sandwich at Quizno's, a fresh cappuccino at the new coffee shop or a full-service meal at deSha's, travelers will find quick, fresh and healthy foods options."

Blue Grass Airport's new selection of shops and restaurants include a balance between national and local brands. Travelers to the region will find keepsakes of their trip in the shops and can sample local favorites such as Hot Browns and fried green tomatoes in the restaurants.

"deSha's is pleased to be participating in bringing Kentucky traditions to Blue Grass Airport," said Tavern Restaurant Group and deSha's owner, Nick Sanders. "In 1956 and 1957, deSha's briefly operated the restaurant at Blue Grass Airport, so it will be an exciting venture for us to return."

"By including a Keeneland and deSha's presence at the airport, we will be able to offer travelers a memorable glimpse into what makes the Bluegrass region so unique," added Gobb.

The Paradies Shops and Creative Host Services are contributing a combined $2 million worth of improvements for renovations to the retail and food/beverage facilities. Shops and restaurants are expected to open by Fall 2007.

About Blue Grass Airport
Blue Grass Airport is served by six major airline brands providing convenient non-stop service to 13 major hub cities with direct service to hundreds of destinations worldwide. The airport proudly serves over one million central and eastern Kentucky travelers each year.

About Our Concession Operators
Creative Host Services and its parent company, SSP Group, Ltd. have a combined presence in 125 airports and 26 countries. SSP is the leading worldwide foodservice provider and, as a cross sector company, features successful food and beverage options in airports, rail stations, on-board trains and motorways. Creative Host Management staff has over 40 years of combined experience in conceptualizing and executing quality brands—bringing a fresh, yet savvy perspective to developing, managing and operating airport food and beverage business.

Established in 1960, The Paradies Shops is a family-owned business based in Atlanta. Operating over 500 stores in 67 markets across the U.S. and Canada, the company has been recognized by Airport Revenue News, the airport industry's leading publication, as "Best Airport Retailer" for twelve consecutive years. With extensive experience in operating local, regional and national brands, including CNBC News, PGA Tour Shops, Brooks Brothers, Brighton Collectibles, The New York Times Bookstores and Harley-Davidson.