hosts the 2013
Yet, the airport did not rely on concrete, glass
and steel to enhance its facilities. Krys Bart, A.A.E.,
president/CEO of Reno-Tahoe International, said the
airport used the inspiration of the region’s natural
wonders to create a strong sense of place for every
arriving and departing passenger.
“The airport is truly the gateway to one of the most
beautiful regions in the nation, and the vision behind
our improvements is to welcome and send people off
with the look, feel and customer service of a world
class destination like Lake Tahoe,” Bart said.
Still, it was an Olympian task to improve a terminal that was built half a century ago to handle the
passengers for the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics.
The improvement process began with the
Airport Baggage Check-in (ABC) project. In the
wake of 9/11, Reno-Tahoe lost 35 percent of its
ticket lobby space to TSA screening machines that
were wedged into a dated terminal. The ABC project moved the TSA screening machines and staff
behind the ticket counter and blended them with
a high-tech inline baggage explosives detection
system. At the same time, it offered an opportunity
to bring the Tahoe look and feel into a redesigned,
customer-friendly ticket lobby.
The $63 million project was paid for with PFCs
and funding from TSA.
A key challenge in the ABC project was how to
keep six airline ticket counters and TSA screening
operating during construction. The solution was
to build a temporary lobby, bag-belt system and
screening area in a tent-like structure. Local con-
tractor Q&D Construction and architect Gresham,
Smith & Partners (GS&P) devised a plan to attach
the tent structure to the front of the terminal. The
system was so successful that the airlines and TSA
experienced no interruptions of service during the
two years of con-