And to celebrate the announcement of a new, multi-year investment in the park, Southwest also launched the "Southwest Porch at Park Tavern," a new outdoor space that will provide visitors with a relaxing spot to enjoy a year-round panorama of nature, events, and festivals, including a skating rink that will open on Thanksgiving Day.
Southwest did not reveal how much it is paying for the partnership. The porch reinvigorates Park Tavern's patio with 200 new outdoor chairs and 50 tables, awnings and an expansive pergola.
“We strive to be involved in the fabric of the communities we serve, and this partnership will help preserve a treasured green space while bringing Atlantans a relaxing outdoor venue showcasing legendary Southwest Customer Service and warm hospitality,” Southwest’s Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement. “Our commitment to Atlanta extends beyond the airport and into the community, and the Southwest Porch at Park Tavern gives us another way to reach our Customers where they work, live, and play.”
In the southeast corner of Piedmont Park, the Southwest Porch at Park Tavern provides comfortable lounge seating with a great skyline view. The Porch also will feature the Southwest Rink at Park Tavern, giving ice skaters a chance to enjoy Piedmont Park during Atlanta's cold weather months. Southwest-inspired menu items will also be featured throughout the seasons.
“We are so pleased to join the many organizations that have benefitted from Southwest’s community investment,” PPC CEO Yvette Bowden said. “Piedmont Park continues to inspire Atlantans, and we believe this partnership will enhance visits to the Park and our ability to care for the space.”
The Southwest Porch at Park Tavern is the fourth “Porch” in the airline’s collection of outdoor venues. In June 2009, Southwest opened the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan to celebrate the carrier’s inaugural service into New York’s LaGuardia airport.
Denver’s Southwest Porch at Skyline Park opened in September 2010 and has morphed into a seasonal operation called the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park. Last month, the Southwest Porch at Strauss Square opened in the Arts District of the carrier’s hometown of Dallas.
Southwest Airlines began service to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Feb. 12, 2012, with 15 daily nonstop departures to five destinations. By Nov. 4, 2012, the airline will operate 29 daily nonstop flights to 15 destinations from Atlanta, with additional direct or connecting service to 58 destinations.