The Out of Towners

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Foote says she "can't really answer" whether Marable and other officials are spending too much on hotels. "All I know is the direction we give folks is to ask for the government rate," she says. "Some hotels have got government rates, and some don't." As for city council travel, Foote says it's justified by the fact that, under the city charter, council members are considered "commissioners of the airport system."

DeLong, meanwhile, remains adamant that Denver's travel expenses aren't out-of-line. Other American cities spend large amounts of money promoting their airports, he says. Dallas, he claims, sent 35 people to Washington, D.C., to take part in the bilateral negotiations with England. That sort of competition, he says, is why it's important for DIA to make sure its name remains prominent in the aviation world.

To further that goal, notes DeLong, next month he heads to a meeting with a Lufthansa Airlines official in New York City, continuing DIA's desperate campaign to convince somebody--anybody--to fly nonstop to Europe from Denver. But while that trip and the numerous jaunts he expects to make around the country this year for ACI will run up a good-sized tab, DeLong says he's working to keep costs down by booking coach seats whenever possible.

Says DeLong, "I fly in the back.

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Andy Van De Voorde