Harrisburg International Airport


The Challenge:
  • Use flooring to create durable playing fields/courts in sports-themed restaurant.
  • Choose products in colors that coordinate with each other and with other interior finishes.
  • Select products that deliver on time; cut and install easily.

The Armstrong Solution:
  • Commercial resilient floors with decades of proven durability.
  • Resilient product collections in a wide array of visuals for optimum design flexibility within the product lines and across other finishes.
  • Single-source benefits include shipping and installation excellence and expertise.

Product Specs:
  • TRANSLATIONS: The timeless beauty of linoleum visuals in a contemporary resilient floor covering. Refreshed to meet the needs for exciting current and ascending colors.
  • TIMBERLINE: Realistic wood visuals. A new protective urethane coating increases scuff resistance and reduces maintenance costs.
  • POSSIBILITIES Tapestry: Sophisticated, fabric-like appearance. Excellent stain resistance and maintenance characteristics.

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Harrisburg International Airport

You would expect the recently opened terminal at Harrisburg International Airport (HIA),Pennsylvania, to be a model of technology. It was the first new terminal built in the United States after 9/11. What you might not expect is the abundance of entertaining "creature comforts" found throughout. HIA's Varsity Grille and Sports Bar uses an original, sports design motif that pays homage to the region’s professional and collegiate athletic teams. Armstrong™ TIMBERLINE®, TRANSLATIONS™ and POSSIBILITIES® resilient products are scoring big for both design and durability on the restaurant floor.

Today, airline passengers spend as much time checking in and waiting for planes as they do flying in them. People picking up travelers also spend more time in the pre-security areas. Airports are responding to the increased amount of "leisure time" with better retail concessions. At HIA's new terminal, The Varsity Grille and Sports Bar is the place to go for a quick beverage or to linger over a full meal. The restaurant's sports theme and Harrisburg location memorializes teams, including the Hershey Bears, the Harrisburg Senators and the Penn State Nittany Lions. The restaurant's interior walls are decorated with athletic paraphernalia. Overhead, television screens simultaneously display football, basketball and baseball games. Underfoot, Armstrong flooring in multiple products and colors allows patrons to stand on the gridiron or tag home plate in a series of cleverly designed seating areas.

Anton Airfoods, Inc. conceptualized the sports theme. The awardwinning airport food service company, based in Washington, D.C., wanted this restaurant to have a basketball court, hockey rink, football field, soccer field and baseball diamond on the floor. Flanagan Architects of Bethesda, Maryland, translated the interior design concept into reality. Project architect John Afable says, "There were many challenges centered around our customer's desire to incorporate a variety of sports motifs into one, cohesive floor design. We needed floor products available in more than just a broad range of colors. We wanted vibrant colors in combination with natural colors to create an exciting yet comfortable dining space. The flooring visuals also had to work with the wall and ceiling finishes." Another challenge was selecting floors that were easy to custom cut and install. Afable explains, "The design included a lot of insets replicating field markings. Plus, the different areas needed to transition easily to each other from a design, installation and maintenance aspect."

The designer and installer huddled on the flooring options. Could a single-source provide products with the aesthetics, on-time delivery, installation ease and maintenance characteristics the owner wanted? Armstrong, in a not-surprising win, proved to be the dream team, with winning products and service. The line-up included: TRANSLATIONS™ Cherry Red, Mint, Forest Green, Indigo, Black, Frost Gray, Wheat and Ivory; TIMBERLINE® Light Oak; and POSSIBILITIES® Tapestry™ Natural Green and Mint Green. The colors represent sports field and court colors: green for football and baseball grass, white for the ice hockey rink, oak for the wood basketball court. Like the sports surfaces they replicate, these floors are tough. TRANSLATIONS and TIMBERLINE have a highperformance urethane finish that improves maintenance characteristics and resists scuff marks. POSSIBILITIES has an unbeatable combination of durability, maintainability and resilience.

American Carpet East, located in Long Island, New York, managed the installation. Sales manager Mike Blake and contract manager Vincent Nello had the 11 different flooring patterns and colors precision cut via water jet prior to the installation. Then, they numbered and coded the varied shapes and pieces to facilitate the on-site effort. Each component was heat welded to adjacent pieces with colorcoordinating weld rods. "Keeping everything organized within the actual physical layout for each zone required a great deal of skill, patience and experienced installers. The intricacy of the patterns, the variety of colors and the amount of heat welding proved to be an interesting and rewarding challenge," say Blake and Nello. The duo appreciated occasional coaching from the local Armstrong sales and technical service representatives. "They quickly answered all of our questions."

The restaurant, which opened in August 2004, is batting a thousand with customers. Varsity Grille manager Carl Hrescak says, "Everyone visiting the restaurant is amazed at the floor. It captures guests' attention when they step through the front door and completes a marvelously designed theme restaurant. You can look at this floor and see that we've taken great care to give our customers a total sports dining experience." Hrescak continues, "Most travelers at this airport are business people and are savvy about which airports around the country have the best facilities. We want our HIA location to be considered on the cutting edge of travel hospitality, and it is."