Marna's Cafe in SUX Airport Costing City Cash
(SIOUX CITY, IA) You may have never heard of it and that's why it's barely getting by - Marna's Café and gift shop in the Sioux Gateway Airport.
It was taken over by the city last year and even with only two employees and fewer business hours it's on track to lose $8,000 dollars this year.
The empty tables symbolize so much more.
"There's a long history of restaurants located at the airport over the years. Several of them came and went," says Curt Miller, Airport Director.
Just like the passengers. Sioux City only started operating Marna's last year before that a private contractor ran the café and the city covered any shortfalls. Over the last four years the city has lost more than $81,000 dollars.
"The last time this café made a profit was in 2008 with a little less than $1500. That's when there were 8 flights coming in and out of here now there's only two.
Monday afternoon's flight had just 17 people on board.
"The answer is if we add additional service - air service either additional flights for American or additional flights through some other air service that we can attract then we should see an increase in revenues," says Miller.
Negotiations for more flights are in progress but for now Miller says Marna's should stay open to give people the option.
"In the winter months especially, going out somewhere and not being able to get any where they're just going to sit here and wait so having food service for them is pretty important," he says.
Some passengers think the airport and city could do without it.
"With only two flights out today I don't see a need for it. If there's at least a vending machine if you need to grab something in the chance there is a layover," says Jolene Schuman, a passenger waiting for her flight.
But for others freshness can't be served from a machine.
I just think a vending machine and the quality of coffee in it would be as good as getting a fresh coffee from the person at the counter," says Jeremey Kaufmann, a passenger waiting for his flight.
City officials were not available to talk about the losses at the airport café.