City waives airport cafe lease during virus closure

Apr 19, 2020 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the City of Riverton has decided to waive the lease fees it charges the local group trying to establish a "food hub" at Riverton Regional Airport.

Public works director Kyle Butterfield said the Riverton Local Food Hub closed last month in response to public health directives put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, Butterfield said, the food hub, which serves customers at the airport café and inside of the secure terminal, "cannot operate" and therefore can't generate revenue - making it difficult to cover rent.

"Currently the local food hub is closed due to the coronavirus concern," Butterfield said, though he noted that the organization already had restricted its café hours to Saturdays and Sundays before the public health emergency was declared.

Riverton Mayor Richard Gard hoped that residents would support the food hub with their business once it reopens.

"It really is a good service," he said. "We really do have a good thing going (up there)."

Riverton City Councilwoman Karla Borders, who is involved with the food hub effort, said organizers believe business was slow over the fall and winter due to a lack of travelers utilizing the airport.

"We want to have another six months to see if we can get this thing off the ground," she said. "I think with warmer weather and families getting outdoors that might be feasible."

Butterfield said the food hub lease brings in about $525 per month.

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