Relaxing in a $4 Million Lounge Under the Dulles Control Tower Could Become a Reality
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
AvGeeks could one day get a new vantage point for plane spotting from the observation deck of the historic control tower at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) — if the right developer comes along.
Under a new proposal outlined in a recent report from the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA), the airport authority is looking for a company to turn the under-utilized space beneath the control tower at Dulles into a lounge with access to the historic tower’s observation deck, as reported by View from the Wing.
Creation of the lounge would require around a $4-million investment from whichever group decides to take over the space, which is 9,100 square feet — on the small side for most airport lounges. The price tag is a whopping $440 per square foot. The report says the space must be fully renovated before it can be occupied, including installation of new utilities, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
A glimpse at the what it would cost to build the lounge offers a little insight into why frequent flyers — who don’t have a credit card that includes lounge access — pay such high annual fees for lounge access: The airport is offering the space for lease and expects a minimum annual guarantee of $925,000 for the first year, increasing by 3% each year of the 10-year lease. This means rent on the space will be pushing a minimum of $1.25 million after the first decade. This minimum is met by the airport being paid 10% of the gross lounge receipts, meaning the cost for the space could be much higher.
It’s unknown if any company is willing to make the investment to renovate the rather small space. Construction will also be subject to approval by the Virginia Historical Society, due to the historic nature of the structure itself, adding yet another complication to the project. For now, it’s wait and see if anyone is going to jump at the chance to offer this unique space to the traveling public. As Dulles could really use another lounge, whether it be an Amex Centurion Lounge or something offered by Priority Pass, we’re hoping someone is willing to take on the project.
For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.
Featured Photo by Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees