Denver City Council approves $11.5 million DIA welcome sign

DENVER -- Millions of dollars’ worth of LED technology signage was approved by the Denver City Council on Monday to welcome travelers to Denver and its airport.

What promises to be an iconic welcome sign should be completed by the end of 2017.

"What this airport is doing is really putting ourselves on the scale of some of the best airports in the world,” airport spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said.

Video rendering released by Denver International Airport shows an early concept of the structure that is planned to be built near E-470 and seen from both directions along Pena Boulevard.

The total price tag is $11.5 million, with $7 million slated to come from the airport. Company partner Panasonic has agreed to pay the remaining $4.5 million through its Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company.

“There’s a great opportunity for the people of Denver and visitors of Colorado to see this technology and see what can be done,” Stegman said.

DIA expects to recoup the sign's construction cost in seven to eight years with ad revenue from the sign. The signage could have many uses, including city event promotion and emergency alerts.

The Mile High welcome is anticipated to be on par with the famed Los Angeles International Airport sign and the “M” at Munich’s airport.

The legislation for the project is now in the hands of Mayor Michael Hancock. He is expected to approve the measure. Construction could start by March.