Denver International Airport is in the dark about marketing Colorado

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

A week ago, I was watching the sun rise at the Garden of the Gods -- a stunning experience that, if marketed right, could start a tourism stampede to Colorado.

And if the scenery doesn't rope in the visitors, the Garden of the Gods Visitors Center will: The thirteen-year-old boy in our group taking a quick Colorado tour, already wearing a Pikes Peak hoodie, was thrilled with the "merch" in the gift shop. So was I: Unlike the items available at shops at Denver International Airport, much of it was actually from Colorado.

We picked up elk jerky made in Colorado (not Montana, not Indiana) and aspen leaf earrings, and mugs and books that, if not made in Colorado, at least focused on Colorado. (We could have done without the instrumentals of John Denver songs piped through the sound system -- but then, it was early.)

The real revelation, though, was the new, improved, HD Garden of the Gods movie -- How Did Those Red Rocks Get There? -- that we watched in the tiny auditorium. Not just because the movie was good, although it was, and it definitely deserved a larger audience. Perhaps a captive audience of travelers stuck at DIA?

I've already suggested that the airport set up Always Buy Colorado gift shops and art exhibits and craft-beer kiosks. Add to that the idea of taking one of those empty storefronts, setting up a little movie area, and showing films produced by Colorado attractions. Yes, there would be some costs involved, but I'll bet a corporate do-gooder would donate the equipment. And the movies are already made. (During big blizzard delays, DIA could show one of the rare feature films actually made in Colorado.)

The only obstacle? Those airport prudey-pants who've locked a playhouse at DIA for fear that someone might get too playful inside could also start fretting about what bored travelers might do in the dark.

Still, that niggling (and nit-witted) concern shouldn't prevent DIA from shining a light on Colorado.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Green Awards looking for grassroots ideas: How about recycling by the program's ad?"

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.