GEORGETOWN, Del.- For years Lighthouse Landing has been the restaurant at the Sussex County Airport. However, after the restaurant's owner announced his intentions to close the business, the county struck a deal to keep the restaurant open until March.
"Just looking at the dollars and cents of it, we haven't done very well with a profit margin," said owner Paul Buchness. "There's just not enough volume to really justify another five-year lease here."
Rather than have Buchness leave at month's end, county leaders have struck a deal with him. The county will only charge him $1 for rent from January to March. The hope is to give the county time to land a new tenant.
"The county supports having a privately operated family-style restaurant at our airport terminal," said Hal Godwin, Sussex County's deputy administrator.
However, not everyone thinks the county is doing the right thing.
"No that's it, it's our money it shouldn't be for something private like that," said Robin Chirino, of Georgetown.
Buchness hopes the deal becomes a win-win for everyone.
"I don't know that we'll be in the positive of the three months that we are here, but we certainly want to be a team player since we've been here and we want to continue to do that as well."
Lighthouse Landing's lease ends in March. The county hopes the space will not be vacant for long. Officials said they have already had other restaurants showing interest in opening at the airport.
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