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Great Hall Partners Will Start Shopping for New Airport Concessions Today

The future view coming out of sixth-floor security.EXPAND
The future view coming out of sixth-floor security.
Great Hall Partners

Public planning for the renovation of the Great Hall at Denver International Airport will take off today. In August 2017, Great Hall Partners — a team that includes Madrid-based Ferrovial Airports, Saunders Construction and JLC Infrastructure — signed a $650 million development deal with the airport authority, approved by Denver City Council, for the four-year redevelopment of Jeppesen Terminal. Part of a 34-year, $1.8 billion update of the airport, it calls for moving all security operations up to the north end of the sixth floor and opening up the Great Hall to more retail opportunities...but restricting two-thirds of that space to ticketed passengers.

If you've gotten stuck in one of the long security lines that have popped up again recently at the airport (45 minutes on the first Friday afternoon in April), you're not going to lament TSA's move from the Great Hall, which was designed before security screening increased after 9/11. Given changes in airline check-in procedures, there's plenty of room for those operations on the sixth floor.

But look out below! The number of concessions in the space under that iconic tent-like roof will double.

Great Hall Partners will be launching the RFP process for the first ten concessions today, April 16, after an informational event from 2 to 4 p.m. at Kimpton Hotel Born, 1600 Wewatta Street.

“With the launch of the RFP process, Great Hall Partners aims to inspire a new type of airport retailing, one that’s driven by the call to entrepreneurship and the spirit of the New American West,” said Ignacio Castejon, chief executive officer of Great Hall Partners, in a statement announcing the event. “These ambitions reflect the attitudes and interests of the people whom this terminal will serve: a fast-growing population that is smart, well-educated and adventurous, many of whom are frequent fliers with long dwell times and have high disposable income.”

Doesn't sound like funnel cakes will play a big part in the plans.

The renovated Great Hall, open to ticketed passengers only.EXPAND
The renovated Great Hall, open to ticketed passengers only.
Great Hall Partners

There are currently about 25 commercial units in the Great Hall, occupying approximately 23,000 square feet. During the four-year renovation, the project will create 63,000 total square feet of space for fifty commercial units "offering an integrated passenger experience," according to Great Hall Partners, which "is focused on creating the perfect mix of culinary offerings and high-performance and innovative retail brands, while encouraging minority and small businesses participation. The goal is to create a travel experience that melds the culture of the city and region with new impulses, flavors and colors from around the globe; to inspire passengers to relax and to spend more time in the new airside experience."

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Great Hall Partners representatives will elaborate on their plans at today's open house.

“Our goal for the launch event is to share our vision for this project, spark enthusiasm and ultimately inspire forward-thinking concessionaires to propose a mix of local, regional, national and global concepts for the new concession space,” said Castejon. “With 61.4 million passengers and 19.7 million origin and destination enplanements at Denver International Airport in 2017 alone, the new Great Hall design will present an incredible business opportunity for concessionaires.”

After the April 16 open house, details of the RFP process will go live at rfp.greathallpartners.com. And, yes, all current concessionaires will have to reapply.

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