DIA extending Final Approach lobby hours and bathroom access: Pee at last!

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Denver International Airport's new cell-phone waiting lot, Final Approach, has gotten raves since it opened on September 24: Dunkin' Donuts! Free wifi! Even indoor bathrooms, to replace the Portpotties! Raves, but also a few rants -- as people arriving at that lot after 10 p.m. to wait for travelers discovered that while the indoor lobby remained lit, showing fancy screens and bathrooms beyond, the doors were locked from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., with no sign to indicate options for final relief. But now that's changing, with the lobby hours being extended to accommodate late-night pick-ups.

Although the four vendors in the food court will keep their current hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Dunkin' Donuts also has a 24-hour drive-thru), the Final Approach lobby -- and access to the flight information monitors and those bathrooms -- will remain open until midnight, then reopen at 5 a.m. starting Monday.

"We think this will accommodate the vast majority of our customers at Final Approach, says DIA spokesman Heath Montgomery. "There are also new signs coming soon on all three entrances depicting the food court hours and directing customers to the nearby Conoco restrooms from midnight to 5 a.m., when we generally have very few flights."

The city approved the original contract for Final Approach in March 2012. Pacific Convenience and Fuels, which runs that Conoco and the attached convenience store, invested about $4.5 million on the waiting-area project; its first year of sales is projected at $2.8 million. DIA will receive 15 percent of the food court gross sales, while the city's sales tax take is estimated at $112,000 per year.

Use of the bathrooms is free -- as long as the lobby remains unlocked.

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