Airports, banks and other shopping places

After having a shopping mall with an attached airport and a flying restaurant, we will soon have a commercial arcade with a bank HQ attached. What might we have next?

The news that UBS is to put shops and a restaurant under its main business centre in the heart of Geneva is perhaps showing us the future. With luck, we could go there and be able to see the Geneva masters of the banking universe, assuming that they sometimes descend from on high to where the rest of us are. Perhaps they might even explain to us how their bonuses are merited because of the good that their business does for humanity.

Of course, in Cointrin we are used to having a big shopping arcade, complete with restaurants of various sorts, to which is attached a busy airport. Apparently this makes lots of money, thus being appreciated by the financial masters of the Geneva cantonal authorities. We also recently told that the main low-cost in the airport had even temporarily turned one of its own aircraft into a flying restaurant.

We also are used to the fact that we fill our car with petrol, or diesel, at a general store with fuel pumps attached. This is not always ideal: how often have I waited to pay for filling up, behind someone who seems to be doing a week of shopping for the whole family?

Surely, however, there are lots more business opportunities waiting to be realised. Our trams, for instance, are often repainted as advertisements, so why could not one be repainted as a well-known fast food chain, complete with a working kitchen (perhaps trailed behind a normal tram) serving hamburgers, cheeseburgers and the obligatory healthy salads (does anyone ever eat a salad there?). Then, when the trams pass the liquid refreshment centre (the depot), we could wash things down with a beer or a nice bottle of wine!

The railways could do even better! I regularly see a few odd carriages stuck on the end of the double decker  trains towards Berne. How about some commerce there instead: A fruit and vegetable market, wine-tasting (and buying), a sports shop (on the way to ski stations)?

But what could be really innovative would be to move the cantonal administration to the upper floors of a general purpose complex: shops and restaurants on the ground floor and night clubs and disco bars underground. Surely some of the local politicians would like to be able to relax after a heavy political session!


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