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Sky Harbor Adding Restaurants And Stores, Modernizing Terminal 3

If you’ve flown in or out of Phoenix recently, you might have noticed that Sky Harbor International Airport is changing.

Not only are there a slew of new restaurants and stores there, but the city spent almost $600 million to modernize Terminal 3. The SkyTrain has connected the terminals to parking and rental car locations, and it’s about to be expanded.

The city of Phoenix, which runs the airport, is about to invest another $100 million in expanding the Sky Train, and they’ve announced new funds to promote international flights to the airport with a deal creating new nonstop flights to Frankfurt, Germany. 

What do cities get for all of the investment they put into their airports? For more on that, I spoke with Megan Ryerson, a professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sky Harbor has added a lot of local restaurants, especially in Terminal 4, and, now, they’re in the middle of a retail push — they’ve added 21 new retail locations in the past 18 months.

So can airports save retailers, who have been suffering from online competition for years? That’s the question the Phoenix Business Journal’s Steven Totten tackled in a recent article, and he joins us with more on this.

But not everyone agrees that brick-and-mortar retail stores need saving.

Our next guest argues that the conventional wisdom that online retail is on the rise and shopping in actual stores is declining is wrong.

Barbara Thau is a contributing retail reporter for Forbes.com and writes the Minding the Stores weekly column.

She recently wrote about brick and mortar vs. online retailing and started the piece with “To say that digital commerce is killing off physical stores is lazy thinking and a half-truth.”

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.