DIA’s retail aims to ‘surprise & delight’ INSIDE by Michelle Z. Askeland The Denver International Airport’s concessions scene – including its food, beverage, retail and entertainment operators – is evolving to accom- modate more visitors and changing consumer habits. In the immediate future, travelers should expect to see tenant changes in existing space as leases expire and new tenants move in, and they can expect to see their retail options increase exponentially in the next three to four years, as all three concourses open expansions and the Great Hall project finishes. As of December, the airport had 190,000 square feet of concession space with 143 operators. In total, these operators did $380 million in gross sales in 2017, which equates to roughly $1,922 sales per sf, or $12.02 sales per enplaned passenger, according to DIA. Passenger traffic was up 8 percent in 2016 and a little over 5 percent in 2017, reaching 61.4 million passengers last year. Like any retail business, with suc- cess comes growing pains and chal- lenges with existing space.These next few years – as have been the past few – will be about accommodating that growth, said Patrick Heck, DIA’s chief commercial officer and executive vice president. At the moment, most of the lease announcements are the result of turn- over from previous operators, includ- ing some expiring agreements that date back to the airport opening in 1995.The new concepts will offer a “refreshed” experience, Heck said. For example, on the B Mezzanine,Woody Creek Bakery andWolfgang Puck will close and Snooze, Shake Shack and Hacienda Colorado will open. However, when the Great Hall project is complet- ed and the concourse expansions open, there will be quite a bit of new space. “I’m going to guess in the neighbor- hood of 80,000 to 100,000 square feet that’s all new space,” Heck said. “So, for the next three or four years, it’s going to be a fairly hefty combination of both new space and turnover of existing space.” According to Heck, the retail real estate at DIA has three goals: Denver’s retail market sees tight vacancy, strong demographics and steady transactions. Denver market update PAGE 6 Construction remains busy throughout the state as big boxes make way for smaller ones. Construction activity PAGE 25 Carefully curated tenants in mixed-use envi- ronments provide for a winning combination. Mixed-use trends PAGE 20 Please see Page 4 May 2018 Denver International Airport The Tapas Sky Bar, located in the C Concourse, opened in December 2015 and caters to travelers with a selection of wine, craft cocktails and 12 Colorado craft beers as well as light fare menu.