Wake-Up Call: The view from DIA

Either Denver International Airport really has its act together -- or travel is way, way down this holiday season.

I arrived at DIA at 7 a.m., parked in the garage -- the $18-a-day fee is my way to atone for spending Thanksgiving, and considerable dollars, in Arizona rather than Denver, as city boosters are urging -- checked in, went through security, and was sitting at my Frontier gate by 7:15 a.m. That's close to a personal best, and I even took another fast look at "Colorado: See the New West Like a Local," the great exhibit on the walkway to Concourse A that closes in January..


And now I still have time to shop, and nurse a personal pet peeve: Why aren't there more shops at DIA that sell items actually made in Colorado? Even Colorado Crossroads, here on the A Concourse (at least I'm flying the hometown airline), snubs local creations in favor of the shlock you can find at any airport, just with a different city name stamped on the front.

Sure, there are a few exceptions -- the Crocs stand, for example -- but for locals who'd like to take a little bit of home to the folks they're visiting, and for visitors who'd like to take a little bit of Colorado back home, DIA would be smart to dedicate some space solely to Colorado crafts.

And once DIA has that organized, why not set up a spot safely past security screening (with its ban on beverages) where travelers could buy growlers of local microbrews? Nothing says "Thanks from Colorado" like a fresh bottle of Patty's Chile Beer from the Wynkoop Brewing Co. on the Thanksgiving table.-- Patricia Calhoun



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