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Renaming costs up in the air

December 13, 2003

Ryan Carter

Renaming the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport for Bob Hope will come

at a price, and just who will pick up the estimated $250,000 tab is

starting to become clearer.

While Hope family representatives pledged that no municipal money

would be spent to change the name, the Airport Authority will likely

front part or all of the cost, officials said this week.

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"We will incur some expense involved with some of the signage and

temporary signage [in and around the airport]," airport spokesman

Victor Gill said Wednesday. "But we're keeping an accounting so

further down the line, when we review it, there will be a basis for

possible reimbursement of some of those expenses. What is hoped is

the Hope family would be involved in some form of fund-raising into

the next year."

Until the cost of changing the names of signs in and around the

airport is tabulated, no one knows how much the airport or Hope

Enterprises -- which gave the authority permission to use the late

entertainer's name -- will pay, airport officials said.

"We're going to give the bills as they come in to the Hope

family," Airport Authority President Charles Lombardo said.

Much of that reimbursement money probably would come from a large

public gala next year, possibly around the time of what would have

been Hope's 101st birthday in July, according to Hope family

spokesman and former Burbank mayor Michael Hastings.

"As the sign and printing expenses come in, we've said, 'Please

submit them to us for our review,' and we will put them through to

the family and see how far we can go to cover these costs," Hastings

said. "It could be that they don't even pay them first. We might even

be the first ones to cut the check."

Even if the airport pays, Gill said the money would not come from

tax dollars. He said the money would come from airport revenue that

includes parking, concession and airline fees. The airport's costs

would also cover California Department of Transportation signs on

local freeways directing people to the airport, Caltrans spokesman

Dennis Trujillo said.

Hastings is sure, though, that the Hope family would ultimately

come through.

"I'm very confident that, between the Hope family and the gala, we

will cover these costs," he said. "If there is a shortfall, we will

fill it."

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