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Chris Jones

McCarran Airport Grows

22 June 2005

LAS VEGAS -- With no discussion, the Clark County Commission on Tuesday approved plans to begin work on several new parking options for travelers and employees at McCarran International Airport.

Commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of the Clark County Aviation Department's request to hire Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Walker Parking Consultants to develop architectural plans for a new four-story, 2,800-space employee parking garage, as well as two new parking lots located near the nation's sixth-busiest passenger airport. Advertisement

Aviation Director Randall Walker said the proposed parking options -- as well as a third parking lot that was not on Tuesday's board agenda -- are needed to offset the pending loss of the 4,500-space economy parking lot along Russell Road.

That site, which relieves demand on McCarran's existing garages, will be closed in mid-2008 when construction is slated to begin on the airport's $1.6 billion Terminal 3 project.

The new parking structure, tentatively called the Copper Garage, would be built just north of McCarran's existing Gold parking structure, Walker said.

Employees will also have the option of parking at a lot planned for a largely vacant plot located south of Tropicana Avenue between Paradise Road and Swenson Street.

The commission also gave initial approval Tuesday to adding a public parking lot on land west of Paradise and north of Kitty Hawk Way. That site is now home to several rental car agencies, though those businesses are slated to next year move to a new consolidated building located off of Gilespie Street on the south side of Las Vegas Beltway.

McCarran also plans to open public lot on the north side of Tropicana between Paradise and Swenson, an area the county leases to UNLV, Walker said.

An estimated cost of the various parking projects has not been determined.

In other aviation-related business, the Clark County Commission:

- Scheduled a July 19 public hearing to discuss the proposed issuance of up to $260 million in airport revenue refunding bonds. If approved, Walker said, new money raised would refinance existing airport debt using today's reduced interest rates.

- Approved two service contracts related to construction of one new gate at McCarran's C concourse. The airport's existing gate C-1 will soon be removed to build a pedestrian bridge connecting secured public areas within the A, B and C concourses. The proposed Gate C-1A is needed to maintain the busy C concourses's current 19-gate total.