If you’ve driven down Peña Boulevard this year, you might have spotted a glowing advertisement for Vail Resorts.
That’s because Denver International Airport has sold the first advertisements on the illuminated display that it recently installed along 1,000 feet of the roadway median.
The airport paid $11.5 million to Panasonic for the sign, and expects to spend $3 million more on maintenance over the next 11-plus years. DIA officials hope to make that money back by selling ad space on display screens in the sign.
They’re not raking in cash just yet: Most often, the panels are covered with ads for airport services — which would not generate revenue. About eight months after the sign was illuminated, airport officials say they have sold about $21,000 of advertising to two companies — Vail Resorts and Air Canada.
However, the airport hopes to sell more ads on the signs soon.
“The airport is currently in the process of selecting a permanent ad sales operator for the sign,” wrote Emily Williams, airport spokesperson, in an email to Denverite.
We don’t know yet how much money the sign will make. The airport is still figuring out the standard rates that it will charge on the sign.
The airport paid for the sign from its enterprise fund — money that it collects from the business of aviation. The airport runs a budget of nearly $1 billion, with a surplus of about $20 million in 2018.
By law, the airport is supposed to spend that money on airport-related activities.