The city of Atlanta has denied the final protest of its airport concessions contract decisions, calling the protest "unsubstantiated," and clearing a barrier to finalizing the contracts.
Sonji Jacobs, a spokeswoman for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, said the city can finalize the concessions contracts at any time, though it must give 24-hour notice according to an order by a Fulton County Superior Court judge. The protesting firm, SSP America Inc., went to court seeking to block the city from executing the contracts.
SSP has seven days to file an appeal to an independent appeals hearing officer. An attorney for SSP said his client has not yet decided whether to appeal.
The decision clears the initial challenges to the award of five large food and beverage concessions contracts, to be awarded to a handful of large concessionaires including Hojeij Branded Foods, Concessions International, HMSHost and Delaware North Companies.
The contracts are for restaurants and bars for the airport's new international terminal to open in the spring, as well as for locations throughout the rest of the airport.
The city said it "found no basis in fact or law" in the points raised in SSP's protest. SSP alleged the process was "fatally flawed" by conflicts of interest and other problems with the evaluations.
The city earlier denied four other protests of the concessions contract, and said those companies may also appeal the decision.
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