John Wayne Airport staffers pick the worst deal and reject local restaurants

Airport staffers are recommending giving up more than $15million to move in to John Wayne Airport restaurants patterned after Food Network stars and cowboy John Wayne instead of choosing a more-lucrative contract featuring more Orange County eateries, according to the O.C. Register.

That’s right.  The Airport staffers rather make LESS MONEY off their concessions and they rather promote national businesses instead of our local businesses.

That is ridiculous.  The money from the concessions helps to offset the cost of running the Airport.  Of course the Airport should opt for the most profitable concessions, and if that means promoting local businesses, all the better!

HMS Host, which focused on homegrown restaurants including Zov’s Bakery & Cafe , Ruby’s Diner, and Jerry’s Dogs, estimated its proposal would bring in $39, 371,580 over the next 10 years. Delaware North, the choice of the airport staff, promised just $23,929,750.

Delaware North served up a proposal for a John Wayne-themed bar and grill, a Food Network restaurant, two Iron Chef-inspired fast-food eateries, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, and Corky Carroll’s Surf Bar, named after the Huntington Beach surfing personality and Register columnist.

The Orange County Supervisors can overturn this.  First it will go to the John Wayne Airport Commission.  Here is how you can contact the members of the John Wayne Airport Commission:

Commission Members:

Mr. Stephen Blythe, Chair, Fifth District
Mr. Bruce B. Junor, Vice Chair, Third District
Mr. Tony Lam, First District
Mr. Chris Welsh, Second District
Mr. Stephen W. Bristol, Fourth District

Here is how to contact them:


5:00 pm, 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month

Meeting Location:

John Wayne Airport
Eddie Martin Administration Building
Airport Commission Hearing Room
3160 Airway Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Ms. Elsa Garcia, (949) 252-5237 or

If all else fails, click here to contact the O.C. Board of Supervisors.

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