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Eat, Shop, Fly: New Plan Brings More Choices to RDU Terminals

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RDU INTERNATIONAL — RDU International is not exactly known as a place to eat and shop, but plans are in the works to make travelers' time there more pleasant.

Many people would like to see a wider selection of restaurants and shops at RDU International -- so would the people in charge of the airport.

"We've got a lot of people working very hard right now, and yes, we can do better," said Steve Toler, a member of the RDU International Airport Authority.

The Airport Authority has spent two years working on a plan that will change dramatically the way people eat and shop at RDU.

The plan will double the current number of restaurants and stores in Terminals A and C, with only a handful of the existing businesses remaining.

"We wanted fresher concepts. We wanted a higher level of customer service," said said RDU business development officer Ingrid Harston.

The major makeover will include a new 42nd Street Oyster Bar location, a pair of A&W restaurants, a PGA golf shop, an ACC sportswear store, a microbrewery, a cyber cafe -- and that is just a fraction of what airport planners envision.

RDU says the new restaurants and stores have pledged to charge the same price they would outside of the airport.

"We'll be sampling prices and going back to check them against what we find in the community," Harston said. "It's not just the concessionaires' responsibility."

Most of the new businesses are scheduled to be in place by November 2001.