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DENVER-Mayor Wellington E. Webb has approved a plan to allow concessionaires at Denver International Airport to extend their leases past original expiration dates. The plan provides for continued participation by local owners from Colorado and ensures that local businesses benefit from the success of the airport, according to the mayor. Local business participation in the concession program was Mayor Webb’s vision when DIA opened in 1995. Currently, there are 112 concession locations at DIA operated by 56 companies. Thirty-one of those are Colorado companies.

More than 54% of the concession locations are operated by disadvantaged business enterprises. This is a dramatic improvement over Stapleton International Airport, where two companies controlled all the concessions, Webb says. “Denver International Airport’s concessions program has been recognized nationally as one of the most successful airport concession programs in the country,” says Webb. “These small local businesses have stuck with us during hard times so it’s only fair that we stick with them.”

Under the new program, the Department of Aviation will submit to the City Council amendments to extend the lease agreements from three to six years each, depending on the length of the original term. The shorter original terms will receive three-year extensions and the longer original terms will receive six-year extensions. The longer extensions of five or six years were granted to concessionaires who initially made larger capital investments.

Vacant concession locations in the future will be offered through a request for proposal process in order to provide additional opportunities. “Our concessions are a very important part of our airport financial infrastructure,” says Manager of Aviation Bruce Baumgartner. “These lease extensions will provide stability during these uncertain times.”

Baumgartner also says the airport concessionaires would make additional payments to the airport during the extended terms of the leases. The additional revenue will be about $325,000 per year and will be generated from an additional 1/4 of 1% of the gross concession sales.

The concessions at DIA generated $134 million in gross revenue in 2002. This was the highest revenue generation in DIA’s history.

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