Here’s what Denver International Airport’s new $11.5 million welcome sign might look like

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo
A rendering of a planned $11.5 million sign for Denver International Airport. (Denver International Airport)

A rendering of a planned $11.5 million sign for Denver International Airport. (Denver International Airport)

A thousand-foot ribbon of light will welcome travelers coming to and from Denver International Airport — and it will display advertising too.

The Denver City Council on Monday approved a plan that will allow the airport to team up with Panasonic to install the “technologically advanced welcome sign.”

The double-sided LED sign will stand on the earthen median of Peña Boulevard just west of the airport, between the E-470 exchange and the A Line bridge. It also will be visible from the train.

“As you’re either entering or leaving the airport proper, our welcome sign has been maybe not as iconic as the rest of the facility,” said Stu Williams, senior vice president for special projects at DIA, at a city council committee meeting last month.

” … It’s well over a thousand feet long, so it’s something truly magnificent and iconic.”

The sign will be made up of 16-foot poles of programmable lights, interspersed with LED signs where advertising and other messaging will be displayed.

This is part of the airport’s partnership to showcase Panasonic technology. Panasonic, you might remember, is building a high-tech master-planned “aerotropolis” at Peña Station.

The airport will pay $7 million and Panasonic will add $4.5 million for the sign. The partners will sell advertising on the sign, which should repay the airport’s investment over 16 years.

The airport is responsible for snow removal and electricity, while Panasonic will be doing maintenance. It’s unclear how large the advertising segments will be; airport rules will forbid “political, religious and controversial content.”

Construction is set to start early in 2017 and be finished by the summer.

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