Banquet room was part of 2009 renovation plans, but project ran out of money, city manager says

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FARMINGTON — The City of Farmington and No Worries Sports Bar and Grill are teaming up to fund a new banquet room at the airport bar.

Farmington City Council approved a $40,000 expenditure, to be matched by business owners Steve Kellenaers and Leo Noyes, to build a new banquet room at No Worries during a regular work session on April 17 in Farmington.

City Manager Rob Mayes said the banquet room was originally part of the plans for the city-owned airport building.

“We spent approximately $1 million building the rest back in I want to say the 2009 era, and the fact is we ran out of money on that project. The banquet room … was never completed at that time,” Mayes said during the meeting.

Four Corners Regional Airport Manager Mike Lewis said the airport has been home to restaurants going back to the 1950s, noting a long-standing business called Señor Peppers. The airport building had a “major interior overhaul” and reconfiguration in 2009.

“When they did that, they actually made the interior smaller, so there’s some void space behind the wall that this current tenant would like to exploit as an additional source revenue,” Lewis said.

No Worries has occupied the space since 2015, and Mayes said they and previous occupants have lamented the absence of the banquet room.

“All of our operators have been disappointed that we weren’t able to do that banquet room from the beginning, and all of them have, over the years, have requested and asked us to do it,” Mayes said. “It’s just not something we’ve ever been willing to put 100 percent of the money in.”

The project is estimated to cost $77,875.30, according to city documents. Both the city and the restaurant owners will contribute equal funds to the project, and the city will reimburse Kellenaers and Noyes for expenses upon project completion.

Kellenaers and Noyes could not be reached for comment.

Lewis said the project will likely take four to six weeks to complete, and a construction start date has not yet been finalized.

The banquet hall will open up to the restaurant’s patio with an entrance from the dining room and entry area, according to city documents.

The project will add an approximately 1,000 square-foot banquet hall to the approximately 5,000 square-foot building. Lewis said the addition will include “really top-notch audio and visual” technology for professional meetings and social events.

Lewis said the addition of the banquet hall likely won’t affect the airport — most airport customers are traveling across the county and stop in Farmington to fuel up and rest or are part of military training exercises, and won’t have much of a need for a banquet hall. But the value of the addition will be for the locals.

“I think it’s probably more important to the community,” Lewis said, adding that the banquet room will be "a great addition to the community, a great addition to the airport and a great addition to the business.”

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.

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