Beer garden at Denver Int’l Airport


Consider wearing your lederhosen or a dirndl if you’re flying through Denver International Airport during the next few weeks.

This is Oktoberfest season and DIA is celebrating with a temporary beer garden set up in the center of the main terminal.

Opening through Oct. 4, DIA’s “Beer Flights” (get it?) beer garden is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.


You’ll need to be 21 or older and pay $10 to get in the door, but the admission fee gets you a souvenir glass, a bag of pretzels provided by Southwest Airlines and 10 two-ounce samples of beer.

In addition to beer sampling, the 16-day pop-up beer garden will offer live music, talks by brewmasters, brew trivia and eight picnic tables decorated by local artists.

And to add to the festivities, DIA is having a Twitter photo contest (#BeerFlightsDIA), with prizes from T-shirts and hats to a snowboard, a Durango hotel stay and a day with the head brewer of the Ska Brewing Company.

Not drinking but curious about Colorado-made beer? There’s no admission fee or age limit to view the beer-themed art exhibit, Colorado on Tap: The State of Brew Culture, on the pre-security bridge walkway to A gates through December.


Photo by Dustin Hall

The exhibit includes artifacts from a variety of Colorado craft breweries, including pub glasses, specialty glassware, coasters, tap handles, t-shirts, bottles, cans and custom art created for beer labels.

And keep in mind, while Denver International Airport’s beer garden will close Oct. 4, the Airbräu, a 600-seat Bavarian-style covered beer garden with an on-site brewery and live music, operates at Munich Airport year-round.

Dallas & DFW airport welcome the little people

The Little People of America organization is holding its annual conference in Dallas — a city where the slogan is “Live Large. Think Big.”

The event kicks off June 29, and more than 2,000 people of short stature, and their families, will spend a week doing what most conventioneers do: attending workshops and banquets, and going to rodeos, museums and other attractions.

While the group is in town, conference hotels will be making some special accommodations for the many guests who have shorter-than-average reach due to the medical condition known as dwarfism.

If registration desks are high, steps and platforms will be made available. Two-foot long dowels with rubber tips will be placed in elevators so all guests will be able to press the buttons for the higher floors. And extra stools will be available for use in guest rooms, especially in hotels where the bedframes are high.

“We also ask that towels be placed on sink counters instead of hung up if the racks are high; for irons and extra pillows and blankets to be placed low; and for the bathroom amenities and soap to be placed toward the front of the sinks,” said Joanna Campbell, executive director of Little People of America.

Campbell said that when the LPA chooses a city for its annual convention, the group also asks the main conference hotels to leave room thermostats on and set at a comfortable temperature and to make sure bathroom shower heads point down instead of at the wall.

And for buffets and receptions, “we will ask hotels to lower the tables the food is placed on and to make sure things are pushed forward,” said Campbell.

For this year’s Little People of America conference in Dallas, it’s not just the hotels rolling out the welcome mat; the airport is as well. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is permanently installing Step ‘n Wash self-retracting steps in all 131 bathrooms to make it easier for conference attendees to wash their hands.

“We are taking the Little People conference as a self-imposed deadline to install as many of these as possible,” said DFW spokesman David Magaña.

The self-retracting steps are already found in many restrooms at theme parks, museums, zoos and at the Salt Lake City, Tallahassee and Atlanta airports and are usually seen as a handy amenity for families with children. “But unlike children, who usually have a parent to give them a boost, little people often have to be much more creative and resourceful to reach a public restroom sink,” said Step ‘n Wash president Joi Sumpton.

My story “Dallas gets ready to welcome the little people,‘ first appeared’s Overhead Bin.

BWI gets an airport lounge with variable pricing

The first Airspace Lounge opens today, May 7, 2011 on Concourse D at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

It’s the first in what may be a line of new all-access airport lounges around the country.

Memberships will be available; daily passes will start at $17.50.

Included will be food, snacks, coffee, tea, soft drinks, wireless internet, plenty of power outlets and the use of MacBooks and Windows PCs. Drinks from the bar will be extra.

That all sounds pretty straightforward.

But here’s an interesting twist: while the basic rate for a day pass will be $17.50,  the price of the pass “will rise from time to time to prevent overcrowding.”

“A customer who spends $17.50 and walks into an overcrowded lounge that is more chaotic than the concourse would probably not return to an Airspace Lounge; we want to prevent that from happening,” said Anthony Tangorra, chief executive officer of Airspace Lounge.

Rather than simply turn people away, the price of a day pass will fluctuate, increasing up to perhaps $40 during busy periods.

“Our day pass price will be on prominent display via LCD signage outside of the lounge,” said Tangorra.





More reasons to love Reno-Tahoe International Airport

I’m getting to like the Reno-Tahoe International Airport more and more.

Passenger amenities there include free Wi-Fi, free local and toll-free calls, gaming machines in the lobby and on the concourses, art exhibits and a growing menagerie of taxidermy animals.

Last year, a 400-pound black bear showed up on Concourse B.

Taxidermy black bear Reno Airport

Now the airport has added a display of three Bighorn Sheep species: the California Bighorn, the Nelson Desert Bighorn, and the Rocky Mountain Bighorn.

Reno Airport taxiderm BIGHORN SHEEP

You’ll find the bear behind security on Concourse B.  The Bighorn Sheep are just outside the B checkpoint.

And here’s one more reason to like this airport: travelers who show ID and a same day boarding pass can get a complimentary half-day lift ticket (night skiing included) at Squaw Valley USA, about an hour from the airport.  The offer is valid from 1 to 9 pm Fridays and Saturdays and or from 1 to 7 pm mid-week when there are night operations in effect.