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Palm Springs leaders discuss airport concessions, downtown park

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An American Airlines flight takes off Palm Springs International Airport, November 19, 2019. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

More improvements are coming to the Palm Springs International Airport.

On Thursday, the Palm Springs City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the airport concession lease agreement and concept designs related to a demonstration garden and future turf conversion projects.

An extension of the concessions agreement with Paradies Shops, which has operated at the airport since 1999, will be in effect through April 2023, according to the city.

It will include a $512,000 investment from Paradies to improve food and bar spaces with proposed concepts such as Santa Rosa Kitchen and Spirits, PSP Coffee House and The Wine Bar at PSP in lieu of the 12th Fairway, Starbucks and California Vintage. 

Approving the amendment will allow Paradies to begin working on design plans, acquiring equipment and hiring staff in hopes of opening some locations by mid-November, according to a staff report. 

The deal with Paradies comes as more airlines announce flights to and from Palm Springs. On Thursday, Southwest Airlines announced it will begin flying out of Palm Springs on Nov. 15 to Phoenix, Oakland and Denver.

“I think it’s important that when people come into our airport, they have a good experience so they’ll want to return,” Councilman Dennis Woods said. “Part of that experience is having vendors available for food and drink as they pass through, especially if they’ve been on a long flight.”

The agreement also comes several months after HMS Host, which used to manage food and beverage sales at the airport, terminated its operations there effective July 31. 

“HMS’s termination of operations eliminated food service, bar service, and the two licensed Starbucks operations at PSP,” a staff report stated. 

In addition to concessions, the

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Officials discuss improvements to mass transit options for the West Island



a bus that is parked on the side of a road: STM bus 485 heading North on St-Jean Boulevard in Pointe-Claire


© Tim Sargeant/Global News
STM bus 485 heading North on St-Jean Boulevard in Pointe-Claire

The West Island has long been a place where the automobile is the primary mode of transportation for people to get around.

The sprawling landscape, low-density housing and malls with ample parking have made it much easier for people to move around by driving compared to taking buses and trains.

Officials are trying to slowly change that through new high-density housing developments near public transit stations and the new electric train line, Le réseau express métropolitain (REM).

But some local mayors insists massive new parking spaces at REM stations and easy access to get to them are necessary to boost public transit.

Read more: Climate activists demanding quick transition to a green economy in Quebec

“We need to have an access point like a massive parking lot, for example, as was proposed in the beginning,” Jim Beis, Pierrefonds-Roxboro Borough Mayor told Global News.

It’s a feeling shared by Pointe-Claire mayor John Belvedere.

“The only way those systems work is you want to be efficient is getting the people there easily so that’s what we have to do,” he told Global News.

An online seminar, hosted by a local environmental health board, is studying all the options toward improving mass transit in the West Island.

The goal is to help make the Island of Montreal carbon-neutral by 2050 as proposed by the mayor, but the existing mass transit systems in place aren’t enough according to the host of the seminar.

“It’s not big enough yet to meet the targets for 2050,” Blaise Rémillard, of the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal, told Global News.

Rémillard eventually plans to publish a list of recommendations to get toward a carbon neutral future.

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