Areas USA: A Team Approach to a Contract Challenge

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Areas USA is a large Miami-based company in the travel hospitality industry. Areas USA was selected by the Maryland Transportation Authority for an innovative 35-year public-private partnership agreement to redevelop and operate two aging travel plazas along the Interstate-95 in northeast Maryland. The 30-year agreement entailed a large capital investment followed by management of facilities. Estimated revenue over the life of the agreement would be hundreds of millions of dollars. The incumbent operator of the travel plazas challenged the selection of Areas USA.

Areas USA engaged KSC attorney Chris Ryon as part of team of professionals to defend its selection. Mr. Ryon, an experienced procurement attorney, working with other procurement attorneys, litigated the case in Maryland’s courts. The time-sensitive litigation proceeded at a fevered pace through myriad motions and hearings. To navigate the litigation, Mr. Ryon drew upon his years of service with Maryland’s Office of the Attorney General, where Mr. Ryon represented State entities in contract disputes. Areas USA was ultimately successful both before the courts and before Maryland’s Board of Public Works, which had final authority to approve the selection and agreement.