Planning began a decade earlier, shortly after the election of Federico Peña in 1983. Once a decision was made to move the airport from Stapleton and not expand it onto the nearby Rocky Mountain Arsenal, much of the civic and business community went to work promoting the massive site 20 miles northeast of downtown Denver.
The new president and CEO of the Denver Chamber Dick Fleming and chair of the Denver Chamber Board Dick Kirk (board chair and CEO of United Bank of Denver) authorized a regional survey of residents as to the level of support for a new airport and some of its characteristics, such as how far out from the city would be acceptable.
Ciruli Associates Poll
- 72% very or somewhat important to build (49% very important)
- 38% moving too slowly on project
- 74% taxpayers will pay to build it (not correct information)
- Make drive to new airport within 25 to 40 minutes
Shortly after this poll was released, Federico Peña was re-elected mayor of Denver, and in 1989 a successful vote in Adams County approved annexation of the land to Denver.