DENVER — One year ago, Denver International Airport (DIA) ended its tumultuous relationship with Great Hall Partners amid a renovation project that ended up millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.
DIA CEO Kim Day used the phrase “unfortunate transition” to describe the end of the contract, which felt like something out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s book.
Since the breakup, DIA has found a new contractor to make its dreams of a nicer Great Hall and more airline gates come true, but the pain of its previous fling remains.
So, in the spirit of the Next segment, “What did we used to talk about?” we reached out to DIA to see what’s changed and how things are faring since the relationship with Great Hall Partners ended and its affair with Hensel Phelps Construction began.
The answer? It’s not all smooth sailing.
The Denver Post was the first to report that the Great Hall project only has a quarter of the money needed for completion: a projected $170 million.
“Right now, we fully intended to stand by our values that we identified one year ago to deliver on the budget of the project,” said Michael Sheehan, the vice president of special operations at DIA. “We are very much on track for that. The $170 million that was previously identified, that was a projection, that was a conservative projection.”
He said right, the goal is for the project to finish on-time, within its budget and successfully, despite the threat of a global pandemic that virtually upended the travel industry.
“What we’re really doing is being good stewards of managing this project to make sure it’s done successfully,” Sheehan said.
He went on to say that the team is working to show people that they are going to deliver and meet the project’s goals, despite what happened last year.
“I think this is a great project,” Sheehan said. “We are on track, we have the right partners now and we are re-baselining, we have it set up for success.”
That’s right, after a breakup that was followed by a pandemic and continued PR problems, DIA is nothing but positive.
For what it’s worth, the Great Hall project only costs money if you fly through DIA. The renovation is funded by airport fees and bonds.
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