ABIA goes local, makes Austin Airport feel just like home

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy Monday after Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Last year, the airport said the day after ACL was the second busiest day ever with 27,673 travelers passing through.

“A lot of folks think that the Monday or the weekend around the holidays are the busiest days of the year here,” said Mandy McClendon, Austin Bergstrom’s Marketing Manger, “It’s actually this weekend and the Monday following the festival.”

A busy weekend means big exposure for local businesses at the airport. McClendon said more than 70% of the businesses are local and more are coming. Toy Joy and Cafe Medici among the latest to open.

“We want people to feel like when they’re at the airport they’re still in Austin. So they can grab some brisket, or a taco, catch a live music performance,” said McClendon. “It introduces them to Austin and the things that maybe they can experience once you’re outside of the airport.”

Amy’s Ice Creams has been helping give the airport some local flavor. Amy’s says during ACL weekend, sales spike by about 30% at the airport. They’ve even come up with an ACL ice cream, Zilker mint chip.

“It really showcases the heart and soul of the city and I think Austin has a very fun, and very unique and very famous heart and soul,” said Kara Marshall, Internal Education Director for Amy’s Ice Creams.

24 Diner and Parkside are expected to be opening soon.

The airport has added a new interactive platform for passengers. By texting “Austin” to 56512, passengers can find a list of music stages and performance times and get details about food, shopping, art and games for kids.

This year there are a few changes since last year’s ACL festival. The pick-up location for taxis and rideshares is now across from the terminal on the ground level of the Rental Car Facility.

Also, passengers flying with Frontier or Allegiant need to go to the South terminal because it’s not accessible from inside the Barbara Jordan terminal.

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