Op­po­si­tion to $1.8 bil­lion Den­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port con­tract

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Re: Andy Cross, Den­ver Post file John Gold­stein, Steve Sus­man,

“Deal lands at $1.8B,” July 20 news story.

I truly hope the Den­ver City Coun­cil and/or Mayor Michael Han­cock will put a stop to the folly pro­posed for Den­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s Great Hall.

First off, we al­ready see that air­port CEO Kim Day has played it fast and loose with the cost es­ti­mates, from “more than $1 bil­lion” in early June to nearly twice that six weeks later. Sec­ondly, the city will be hand­ing off al­most to­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity to a com­pany based over­seas that has had a spotty record with projects in the past.

As to the (im)prac­ti­cal­ity of the plan: putting pretty much all the shops af­ter se­cu­rity clear­ance will make the Great Hall com­pletely un­invit­ing for peo­ple see­ing off or wel­com­ing home friends and fam­ily, since they will be un­able to avail them­selves of the new Fer­rovial-con­trolled con­ces­sions.

As for tick­eted pas­sen­gers, I imag­ine that the great ma­jor­ity will head straight from se­cu­rity out to their gate ar­eas, where a huge se­lec­tion of stores and restau­rants al­ready ex­ists — no need to linger in the un­nec­es­sar­ily ren­o­vated Great Hall.

The time-pres­sure for the Den­ver City Coun­cil to ap­prove the pro­posed $1.8 bil­lion (up from ear­lier fig­ures of $1 bil­lion and $1.3 bil­lion) DIA Great Hall re­con­fig­u­ra­tion con­tract is shock­ing. Have we for­got­ten the fi­asco of our new Vet­er­ans Af­fairs hos­pi­tal in Aurora, where un­qual­i­fied bu­reau­crats in the fed­eral govern­ment have en­abled scan­dalous cost over­runs (to date) of hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars?

Ty­ing Den­ver’s hands on DIA’s evo­lu­tion for decades with a pri­vate con­trac­tor may be fool­ish.

If DIA can af­ford to pay a $9 mil­lion penalty for de­lay­ing the con­tract ex­e­cu­tion be­yond Sept. 1, surely it could af­ford to en­gage ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als to eval­u­ate the deal from Den­ver’s view­point (e.g., Bain, McKin­sey, Bos­ton Con­sult­ing).

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