Airport update

Workers are busy on the site of the new Williston Basin International Airport, with about 350 people working to complete the terminal, runway, taxiway and other projects before the airport’s scheduled opening on Oct. 10.

On Oct. 10, if those first passengers arriving at the new Williston Basin International Airport are feeling a little peckish from their flight, they’ll be able to enjoy a quick snack, a full meal or even a nice, frosty cold one at the terminal’s restaurant, bar or concession area, an option current traveler’s at Sloulin Field don’t have.

“A lot of these amenities we don’t have at Sloulin Field,” Economic Development Executive Director Shawn Wenko said in a release. “So they will make XWA a much more attractive facility for both airlines and passengers.”

A news release from Economic Development stated that Florida-based company Oakwells is the airport’s concessionaire. The new airport will be the company’s third site in North Dakota, as they also own and operate the Trestle Tap House at the Minot International Airport and the Red River Valley Tap House at the Grand Forks International Airport. Oakwells has six other sites outside of the state.

At the Williston Basin International Airport, the company will operate the Refinery Kitchen and Bar, named for the region’s many oil and gas processing plants. In a statement given to the Williston Herald, Oakwells’ owner, Michael Reilly, said that his company is looking forward to serving the Williston region as part of the new airport.

“It’s exciting to be a part of a truly beautiful facility,” Reilly said. “It is truly the welcome mat of the community and we are grateful to be a part of that because many times we are either the first impression or the last impression a traveler has of a community.”

The new pub-style restaurant will feature breakfast, lunch and dinner options, including burgers, salads and pizza; as well as a full-service bar. The Refinery will be able to seat a little over 50 people, and will offer a view of the airfield from the bar. Travelers need not worry about missing out due to their flight schedule, as Reilly said the restaurant will be available anytime the airport is open.

“We will be open seven days a week, 365 days a year, as long as the airport is open,” he said. “We will open one hour before the first scheduled departure and close at the last scheduled departure. Typically, we are open from 4:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., but we will accommodate the local schedule.”

Along with the Refinery, the airport’s new terminal will feature grab-and-go snacks, vending machines and a gift shop. The Williston Basin International Airport is scheduled to open on Oct. 10.

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