DIA collects concession awards -- and extends lobby (and bathroom) hours at Final Approach

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In a town where politicians would go to the opening of an envelope, the debut of Final Approach -- Denver International Airport's new cell-phone waiting lot, which comes complete with a fancy building with four food vendors, flight information monitors and indoor bathrooms -- was big news. And on September 24, the media was on hand to watch Mayor Michael Hancock get the first cup of coffee from Denver's second Dunkin' Donuts store (another one had opened on Broadway just hours before), which, like the Subway, zpizza and Baja Fresh Mexican Grill in the facility, serves from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.) But as drivers who arrived to wait in the lot for late-night passengers soon discovered, when the food operations ceased, the lobby -- and those bathrooms -- were off limits.

In response to customer concerns, however, starting Monday Final Approach will extend lobby hours -- and access to the bathrooms. See also: Dueling Dunkin' Donuts stores open today

Although the four food vendors 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 -- with those flight information monitors and bathrooms -- will remain open until midnight, then reopen at 5 a.m. each day.

"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."

That's not the only good news coming from DIA. On Wednesday the airport learned it was the winner of the Best Food & Beverage-Related Innovation award for its Premium Value Concessions (PVC) Program at the Moodie Report's third annual Airport Food & Beverage Awards in Dubai. And Crú Food & Wine Bar, which opened last December on the B Concourse, was named the Best Airport Wine Bar at the same awards ceremony.

Denver should be a shoo-in for Best Cell Phone Waiting Lot next year...if Moodie Reports would only create the category.

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