While the carrier now owns 114 acres of land near the airport, executives for the airline say they won’t be leaving Chicago anytime soon.
Denver Primed for Growth – But What Kind?
In August 2023, Reuters reported United purchased a plot of 113 acres near Denver International Airport for around $33 million. A spokesperson for the airline said the carrier planned to expand their pilot training center near the fast-growing hub, along with office space.
When asked if United could move their headquarters from Chicago to Denver, the spokesperson deferred Reuter’s question by stating: “it’s prudent for any large company to take advantage of opportunities to buy land in its key cities when the opportunity arises – so we didn’t want to miss this opportunity in Denver.”
There’s now more clarity around Denver – noted by Crain’s Chicago Business as the 11th largest employer in Chicago – in that it won’t be moving their leadership to Colorado anytime soon. Speaking at the TD Cowen Global Transportation Conference in Boston, Crain’s reports leaders refuted the idea despite having over 10,000 workers in the city.
“We have a long-term lease at Willis Tower. We’ve been there for decades in Chicago,” United chief financial officer Gerald Laderman said at the conference, as quoted by Crain’s. “Denver is like Houston. We have lots of facilities in Houston.”
While Laderman put the focus on expanding the airline’s pilot training center in Denver, he conceded that the extra land could yield “other opportunities.”
Those additional opportunities may be hinted at in a special event for Premier elite members who call Denver home. On the FlyerTalk forums, travelers in Denver say they received an e-mail from the airline inviting them to a “cocktail reception” with United leadership. For entry, the airline is charging 2,000 MileagePlus miles, which will go to support World Central Kitchen.
The event appears limited to those with top-tier status, including United Premier 1K, as at least one Gold member reported not receiving an invitation.
What is United planning for Denver? Share your thoughts on the FlyerTalk Forums.
Source: frugal travel guy