WILEY FORD, W.Va. — The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority voted last week to give airport manager Ryan Shaffer approval to negotiate with a car rental business to begin operating at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport.
“We would provide them with the space and the airport manager would have the ultimate say on egress and stuff through the building,” said Creade Brodie Jr., authority chairman. “We want to get them in there ... and hope they grow with the airport.”
Brodie said he approached Hertz Corp. about operating at the airport.
“I think that moving forward this is going to be a necessity and after looking at a few (car rentals) and how they are designed, I contacted Hertz corporate office,” said Brodie. “The reason I went to Hertz is because they have one-way car rental. They wanted to come in last week and start business.”
Hertz has been trying for years to establish an airport location, but were never allowed, said Brodie.
Authority member Leon Hinkle questioned what the airport’s obligation would be to Hertz. The airport doesn’t need anything from Hertz, according to Brodie.
“We have got three empty parking lots. I said if this business gets up and running and does well, I think what we do is let Ryan negotiate a price with him (the local corporate guy),” said Brodie. “I think that we ought to be more than fair to get him here. If he does real well in a year I think we go back and talk to him and maybe do a portion of standard profit share, such as any other business.”
After a year, the authority will likely review the business and come up with a formal contract.
“I told them since we are in the infancy of this thing we will work with them monthly because we don’t want to scare them off or sink them right off the bat,” said Brodie.
Hertz is considering having four to eight cars to rent and the airport wouldn’t be responsible for them, Brodie said.
Shaffer said other local car rental companies would be welcome to utilize the airport as well.
Also during the meeting, the authority approved a revised airport manager description. Following an executive session in April, the authority voted to give the airport manager full authority to run the airport as he or she deems fit, with the support of the board.
In other airport news, Country Cafe is now open for business. The restaurant is closed on Monday’s.
“They (Country Cafe) are up and operational and are staying fairly busy,” said Shaffer.
Contact Elaine Blaisdell at email@example.com.