Our ‘5 Things We Love About…” series celebrating features and amenities at airports around the country and the world lands today at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
MSP sits on land that, back in 1914, was home to Snelling Speedway.
Auto racing gave way to airmail service and Speedway Field. In 1923 the airport was renamed Wold-Chamberlain Field in honor of two local pilots who lost their lives in combat during World War 1.
The airport’s first passenger service was in 1929 and in 1948 the MSP acquired its current name: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Please keep in mind that some of the amenities we feature here may be currently unavailable due to health concerns. We’re confident they’ll be back.
5 Things We Love About Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
1. Award-winning restrooms at MSP
Clean bathrooms are an important airport amenity. Add art and an airport’s bathrooms can become something people talk about and give awards to.
That’s what happened when several sets of MSP restrooms were remodeled to feature stunning artist-made mosaics and the latest in cleaning technology.
In 2016, MSP Airport won first place in an annual contest that crowns America’s best public restroom. That was the first time an airport loo won the award.
2. The arts program at MSP
In 2019, MSP airport presented more than 900 live music and dance performances.
MSP also has permanent public art installations and temporary art exhibits in both terminals. MSP also hosts an annual art show that features work by MSP employees and their families.
This summer, local authors began online readings from their books and Once the pandemic is over, the plan is to have monthly readings in the art gallery in the Airport Mall in Terminal 1.
3. The Prince store at MSP
The late musician Prince is a beloved Minnesota-born icon.
In addition to a giant 16-foot-by 24-foot mural of Prince by artist Rock Martinez, MSP airport also has a Prince store in Terminal 1 where fans can buy all sorts of Prince-branded merchandise.
4. Minnesota’s Tallest Escalator is at MSP
MSP’s newest parking ramp partially opened in early August with a new attraction: Minnesota’s tallest escalator.
The escalator is 55 feet tall, travels about 100 feet per minute and is capable of transporting 9,000 people per hour.
The ride – up or down – takes 1 minute and 15 seconds.
All rental car services, off-airport parking shuttles and all bus services are in the new Silver Ramp.
5. Animal ambassadors at MSP
98 therapy dogs – and a therapy cat named Stitches – serve as animal ambassadors at MSP airport, helping reduce travelers’ stress.
Bonus: The hotel at MSP Airport
MSP Airport has a hotel located between the inbound and outbound roadways at Terminal 1 with direct access to Concourse C via a skyway.
The 291-room, 12-story Intercontinental MSP Airport has two restaurants, a cocktail bar, a TSA checkpoint (currently closed due to COVID), a fitness center, a thermal pool, and a collection of work by local artists.
One thing MSP Airport does not have is an aircraft viewing area with an outdoor pool.
That was a great April Fools Day joke from 2018 that we’re still wishing might come true.
Did we miss one of the amenities you love at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)?
If so, please leave a note in the comments section below.
And be sure to take a look at the other airports in our “5 Things We Love About...” series.