Aerotropolis? Ballot Measure Seeks DIA Regional Growth

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DIA Hotel Construction
Hotel construction at Denver International Airport.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has ambitious plans for Denver International Airport. For several years, he’s pushed for the area in and around DIA to become an “aerotropolis,” with offices, manufacturing, and retail. Voters in Denver and Adams County will decide Nov. 3 whether to allow this kind of economic development at DIA.

A longstanding agreement between Denver and Adams counties prohibits businesses not related to airport operation, but ballot measure 1-A would would change that, with the two counties splitting tax revenues. Under the plan, Denver would pay Adams County $10 million up front. Hancock says 1-A will lead to 12,000 new jobs. Critics say economic development at DIA should be driven by the private sector, not public officials. Others worry about increased traffic on Peña Boulevard.

Travel expert Harriet Baskas, who has written for USA Today, spoke with Ryan Warner.