SBJ/September 29 - October 5, 2003/Facilities

Portland venues keep concessions in-house

Oregon Arena Corp. in Portland has decided to keep its food concessions operation in-house at two facilities, continuing with Cutting Edge Concepts at the Rose Garden and Memorial Coliseum, senior vice president J.E. Isaac said last week.

The Paul Allen-owned company sent out requests for proposals earlier this year to major concessionaires in the midst of cost-cutting moves that included the dismissal of 88 full-time employees, 48 on the facility side.

"After looking at other opportunities out there, we concluded that not only do we have one of the finest food and beverage operations in the country, but we're returning a market-level return to our owner," Isaac said. "Financially, we're as good as anybody else we could obtain."

Cutting Edge Concepts has operated concessions at the Rose Garden since the arena opened in 1995 and took over the premium dining business in 1999 from Levy Restaurants. There are two years left on CEC's concessions contract, and six years remaining for the luxury suite business. The company's contract extends for similar terms at city-owned Memorial Coliseum. Oregon Arena Corp. manages that venue, which is the former home of the NBA Trail Blazers.

New contracts would have been negotiated had an outside party been brought in for the food-service business.

Isaac said CEC has undergone a reorganization, with about five full-time positions eliminated. Mark Lewis continues his role as vice president, and Doug Hawkins is still the general manager.

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