The cost for DIA was now approaching $3.7 billion and the jokes about DIA appeared everywhere. One common joke as that when you fly to Denver, you will have to stop in Chicago to pick up your luggage. Other common jokes included the abbreviation, DIA. Exhibit B at the end of this case study provides a listing of some of the jokes.

The people who did not appear to be laughing at these jokes were the concessionaires, including about 50 food service operators, who had been forced to rehire, retrain, and reequip at considerable expense. Several small businesses were forced to call it quits because of the eight-month delay. Red ink was flowing despite the fact that the $45-a-square foot rent would not have to be paid until DIA officially opened. Several of the concessionaires had requested that the rent be cut by $10 a square foot for the first six months or so, after the airport opened. A merchant's association was formed at DIA to fight for financial compensation.

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