Ketchikan rejects Avis car rental appeal

Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010

KETCHIKAN - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has rejected an appeal by the owner of Avis Alaska over his company's bid for airport terminal car rental space.

The 3-2 vote Monday did not include three members who abstained, claiming a conflict of interest. The assembly then awarded terminal space contract to Anderes Oil of Ketchikan.

Andrew Halcro, owner of Avis Alaska, questioned a decision by a three-person committee that reviewed the proposals and rated Avis and Anderes Oil nearly equal for experience and qualifications, according to the Ketchikan Daily News. The committee ranked Anderes' proposal 10 points higher than the Avis proposal.

Halcro, of Anchorage, is a former legislator and gubernatorial candidate who this election season considered a challenge against U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska. He said his company has been in business for 55 years and operates in many offices in southeast Alaska, while Anderes listed no experience in its bid other than "a few phone calls to people who used to be in the car rental business."

Halcro said he read the borough legal department's response and that their argument was "experience was experience."

"Experience to me, according to this bid, is 'Can you rent a car? Do you own cars? Can you rent cars? Do you have any experience?"' Halcro said.

Anderes Oil President Dave Anderes said the borough made the correct decision. His company has plenty of business experience, he said, and he will operate a Budget Rent-a-Car franchise.

"I'd like to think the best company with the best long-term interest in Ketchikan won the bid," Anderes said.

Kathleen Thomas, a borough legal intern who spoke on behalf of the borough, said the "definition of experience is not narrowly defined to mean the most years of experience in a car-rental business. It's not narrowly defined to mean the most number of car-rental franchises."

She said Anderes Oil had 50 years of business experience in Ketchikan and was able to stay in business following closure of the Ketchikan Pulp Co. mill.

Halcro said his company pulled out of Ketchikan in 1997 after the mill closed. He said he's been trying to come back and rent space at the airport since 2005.

The five-year lease calls for the company to pay $783.43 per month to lease the space.

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