Cornell students use $25,000 award from business contest to test luxury lounge idea at Syracuse airport

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Flyers at Syracuse Hancock International Airport will be able to escape the ordinary terminal for a luxury lounge, but only for the next week.

Two graduate students of Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business are testing their business prototype.

“I experienced it a lot traveling in Europe where every airport you went to had a really nice private lounge, where you can just get away from the noise and the crowds, and have premium beer and wine and snacks, all under one cost. That seems to not really exist in the U.S. yet. It’s only in the very largest international airports,” founder Gabe Trumbo tells NewsChannel 9.

Trumbo and his partners made the same pitch to judges of a business competition at Cornell and it worked. They used the $25,000 prize to launch the pilot lounge in Syracuse.

For $25, flyers can get a one-day pass that allows them into the lounge for unlimited beer and wine and snacks, including local products like Ithaca hummus, Finger Lakes wine and Saranac beer.

The trial lounge will be used to collect data for possible investors. If the founders can prove interest in the concept, they’ll look to put permanent lounges across the company under their company name “Matte Black.”

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