Denver Auditor Asks City To Sue DIA Airport Hotel Operator

July 9, 2019
DIA Denver International Airport Passengers ConstructionDIA Denver International Airport Passengers ConstructionHart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Westin hotel at Denver International Airport on Friday June 28 2019.

Denver's auditor is asking the city attorney to sue the Westin Hotel at Denver International Airport for refusing to hand over some financial information.

"We've been trying to get access to financial information to determine if Denver is receiving the proper amount of revenue that we should receive under the contract. The Westin hotel has denied us access to the records," said City Auditor Tim O'Brien.

The hotel is owned by the city, which contracts with the hotel chain Marriott to operate it. O’Brien said the operators have breached their contract with the city by denying access to the financial and operational information.

"It's a public asset," he said. "It deserves transparency and accountability, and that's not what's happening with this one. And this has been going on way too long."

O'Brien first asked the city to take action in his audit released in February, but Westin and Marriott haven't budged, he said.

Westin officials told CPR in February that they don't need to provide the information O'Brien wants because they believe it is proprietary.

"During this process, we provided all documentation and information required by the terms of the audit. Certain company information was also requested outside of the scope of the audit," said Laura Lojas​, the general manager of the Westin at DIA in an email. "As a courtesy, we allowed the auditors to review the information they requested, but as a publicly held company, we do not allow proprietary information to be reproduced or distributed."

O'Brien said he sent a letter to city officials, including Mayor Michael Hancock and the city attorney and is awaiting a reply.