Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Adele Arakawa Will Help Pick Her Successor on Denver Airport Train

While traveling through Denver International Airport this holiday season, you can prepare to say goodbye to a familiar voice: Sometime next year, Adele Arakawa will lose her spot on "Train Call," the public-art piece that supplies music and bossy messages for the airport train that runs between the terminal and the concourses.

But Arakawa, who retired from her anchor job at KUSA earlier this year and now lives in Phoenix, doesn't mind getting bumped. In fact, she's been asked to serve on the committee screening potential replacements along with Jim Green, the original artist behind "Train Call," and representatives from the airport, Visit Denver, the Colorado Tourism Office and the mayor's office.

But Arakawa's slot isn't the only one up for grabs. When she recorded those messages a decade ago, she did so alongside Alan Roach...and he's fighting to keep his voice. Although Roach gave up one of his high-profile gigs, as public announcer for the Denver Broncos, in order to take the same job with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016, he didn't give up on Colorado, where he's lived since 1990 and continues to speak for the Rapids and the Avalanche. After he reached airport officials to let them know he's still around, Roach was assured that he can reapply and will be given fair consideration...but he's still waiting to find out how he can rally the troops.

The airport announced a contest to find two new Train Call voices last month; applications were accepted until November 30. According to Heath Montgomery, the airport's senior public information officer, all qualifying nominees will be sent to the committee for review and scoring; after that, the list should be narrowed down to a handful of finalists.

And then the public will get to vote on which voices best represent Colorado. Montgomery anticipates that the online vote will go live sometime after the first of the year.

Which means Roach may have to work quickly before he heads off on January 21 for a whirlwind of announcing gigs at the Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics.

Hoooold on, please!
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun