Travel enough and airports all seem to look the same. Certain eateries and travel necessity stores are expected. So much so it can be hard to differentiate an airport in the Midwest from one on the east coast. What state am I in? That’s the question those behind the revitalization of the Long Island MacArthur Airport never want visitors to have.
“When you arrive you know you’re on Long Island,” Long Island MacArthur Airport Commissioner Robert Schaefer said.
In the past year the Long Island MacArthur Airport transformed an abandoned space into a functional atrium home to a new restaurant, tourism store, wine store, radio station, art gallery and tourism kiosk. All with a focus on Long Island.
In the East End Getaway store there are products from around the Island. The Long Island Wines store features wine from 10 different Long Island vineyards along with the standard wine accessories.
“We wanted people to find all Long Island products,” Schaefer said.
All of the stores are Long Island owned and operated with another restaurant opening up later this year and a new unified taxi service in place.
The specific emphasis on Long Island is so that not only those arriving on Long Island know they’re here but also so that those leaving can feel like they’re starting their getaway at the airport. To that extent there is always something happening at the airport.
The art gallery changes monthly featuring Long Island artists such as Holly Gordon in her Long Eyeland exhibit with artist talks.
“MacArthur Airport has long been my center for taking off and coming home so symbolically it is the perfect place and the space is spacious and well lit,” Gordon said. “It’s great for Long Island too, especially if the artists are exhibiting work that represents our diverse location
The art gallery space is also open to the public for business meetings and the radio station also brings people to the airport. The 103.9 Long Island radio show brings top name country artists to the atrium for concerts including spring and holiday concert series.
“Everyone loves the airport,” Schafer said.