The future of Cody Coffee Roaster at Yellowstone Regional is about as clear as a cup of Joe.

It was announced at Wednesday’s airport board meeting that Cody Coffee had submitted a 90-day notice to terminate its lease a couple of weeks ago, but is now reconsidering that decision.

YRA general manager Bob Hooper said after offered a deal to only operate on a “seasonal basis,” the business expressed interest through an email sent Monday to possibly stay and reconsider the notice to terminate.

Hooper said this complicates matters due to an advertisement about the opening already being published in the local newspapers and because he already spoke with one interested lessor. He said he will consider all options and proposals made to him moving forward.

Multiple members of the board expressed displeasure for how Cody Coffee, which recently switched ownership, has been operating its business at the airport.

“The position was made very clear to Cody Coffee that they have not upheld their end of the lease agreement,” board member Jack Way said. “They have not been open many, many times.”

Board president Bucky Hall said although the business has remained active at the airport, it has often been using the facility as a staging area for its other two locations, while not servicing the public side of the operation on certain days.

“Which in my opinion is in very poor taste,” Hall said.

Hooper said the restaurant has only been open on certain days to the secure, terminal side of the airport the restaurant also accesses.

In November Cody Coffee changed ownership from Jesse Renfors to Robert Reed, in partnership with wife, Linda Reed, daughter Marian Miears and son-in-law Rodney Miears.

“The transfer of the ownership to the new owners was probably not the best in the world,” said Hooper.

Hooper would not comment as to when the inconsistent public access started.

Robert Reed was the only Cody Coffee employee working the YRA location on Wednesday. He said there have been days both secure and non-secure sides of the airport have not been open due to “staffing issues.”

He confirmed that the business is currently in negotiations with YRA.

Board member Jack Way said the business “has not upheld the terms of the lease agreement.”

“They understand that they have given themselves a black eye,” Way said.

That lease agreement stipulated the restaurant was to be open for all flights except late-evening arrivals at the airport during the summer. In the winter only two flights leave and arrive from YRA per day.

The lease agreement waived rent from June through November. From November-April Cody Coffee is to pay $300 per month while from May-October that rate increases to $500 per month.

“A lot of the time you’ve got sweetheart deals to get non aeronautical people to come on your airport,” said Aviation Business Development Manager Mason Short.

Last April the airport spent $35,000 to connect the kitchen of the restaurant area to the terminal holding area.

It was also announced at the meeting that Hooper has been approached by Bailey Oil to construct and operate a convenience store on YRA property off Roger Sedam Drive. The board approved Hooper to engage in negotiations on this transaction. Hooper said the lease would likely start in April with construction to be complete by late summer.

(2) comments

bean77

The only people to blame here are the planning board for the new airport . The restaurant is not accessible from the secured waiting area. Why would you put a restaurant in the baggage claim area? Most people want to get through security and then relax before boarding. The airport layout is not conducive for a restaurant. I doubt anyone will make money there. Why did Annie’s move out?

DeweyV

So... Cody wants desperately to be a first choice travel destination and compete with the Bozemans, the Jackson Holes, all the other western ports of call...

... except our airport is on a dirt island with no restaurant to speak of, no gift shop , in fact very few traveler amenities and hardly any logistical support that one would expect to find in any other regional airport and travel base. And likely the coffee shop is now departing, latest victim of the YRA Curse.

This is on Management.

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