On a cool October morning, Woodson Terrace Mayor Lawrence Besmer stands on a construction site eyeing the progress of a new hotel going up off Interstate 70, across from St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
But Besmer worries that the success of this hotel and another planned for his city of 4,000 residents hinges on what ultimately happens across the street — where officials are discussing whether to lease the airport to a private operator.
“It would just be nice to know what’s going on,” he said. “We can’t plan without knowing what they’re doing. So, it’s hard.”
Hotels and car rentals serving airport passengers make up a considerable chunk of the city’s economy. While the airport plays a crucial role in the well-being of Woodson Terrace and many other municipalities in the county, Lambert belongs to the city of St. Louis — and Besmer doesn’t get a say in what happens to it.