What's at stake for $1.8B DIA terminal partnership?

Posted at 10:34 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 00:34:41-04

DENVER -- It is a pricey partnership spanning more than three decades, but before Denver can even decide on the $1.8B deal to transform DIA’s main terminal, city council members have to get through the 15,000-page contract.

That's why they delayed the vote set for Monday until at least next week.

Is this 34-year-long public-private partnership contract a good deal?

The first four years would be essentially the $650 million in renovation work. The rest will go to a private company, that will manage concessions for the next 30 years. Right now, the terminal sees 58 million passengers a year, and the renovations would increase that number to 80 million.

The proposed changes will modernize and relocate the security screening areas and consolidate the airlines' ticket counters. They would allow for more income-generating concession space after security and would build a new welcome lobby near the hotel.

The concerns: higher fees from the airlines, loss of control over concession operator contracts, a lack of wage protections for concession workers, and the possibility that the length of the contract could jeopardize decision making for future DIA and city leaders.