Denver International Airport was just named the "Best Airport in North America" by Business Traveler magazine -- for the sixth consecutive year. Want to know what could make DIA even better? Some decent, Colorado-centric shopping on the concourses -- including souvenir beers.
For years, I've carped about the sorry marketing of this city and state at DIA, and every time I'm rushing for a plane, desperate to grab a gift for the person I'm visiting, I lament the lost opportunity again. Instead of stores that specialize in items unique to this state, the airport has shops like Greetings From Colorado, which sells Denver T-shirts made in Haiti that even get the year of the city's founding wrong.
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If we really want to greet visitors to this city the right way, and give tourists leaving our town a proper send-off, DIA should set up Always Buy Colorado shops and stands on the concourses. By placing them there, past security, the airport could peddle not just locally produced art, knickknacks and foodstuffs (how about some jerky made in Colorado rather than California?), but this state's most liquid asset: craft beer.
As we report in Off Limits this week, while state law would prohibit the sale of growlers -- which you can get at the Portland airport -- there's nothing preventing the sale of bottles and cans of local microbrews. Except for the fact that no one's ever gotten a retail license to sell liquor at the airport.
Colorado craft-beer souvenirs? That's a concept that could really fly.
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Parking ticket Scrooge has no holiday spirit: Bah humbug!"