Denver officials are scrambling to explain their very expensive, all-taxpayer-paid vacation trade mission to Paris for Mayor Hancock and his 30-person entourage, that came with a price tag of $12,500 per official, KCNC news reports.

Unless you were a member of Hancock’s personal security, then you were excluded from flying business class and relegated to coach. The cost for their trips was $6,600.

We can understand Han(d)cock might be inclined to distance himself from his security details given recent events, yet that sort of defeats their purpose. But we digress.

Here’s how they are justifying the cost:

“Costs in Denver are not costs in Paris,” said Stacey Stegman, a spokesperson for Denver International Airport. ”It’s much more expensive in Paris.”

Well la dee da. Aren’t we continental?

Some random numbers were also pulled out of the thin air in business class to suggest that if it weren’t for this trip, somebody might soon, hopefully, fingers crossed, create 350 new jobs and $40 million in annual economic impacts for Colorado.

All because His Honor and friends went to a briefing on technology and bizness, attended a Norwegian Air reception, travelled again to a reception for Hancock in Brest, Denver’s sister city, then made a stop at Omaha beach and Normandy.

Seriously? If going to parties is Hancock’s idea of economic development, we’re headed for disaster, with security stuck in coach.