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Topic: Stapleton Airport Memory Site
Username: Jsnww81
Posted 2002-10-16 03:12:37 and read 4821 times.

I found a great website commemorating Denver's now-closed Stapleton International Airport, which shut its doors for good in 1995. It's got loads of photos (many of them from from the 1970s and 1980s, when the airport was in its prime.

Check it out at

Also, if anyone has any memories of Stapleton (the original DEN), it'd be cool if you could share them.

Topic: RE: Stapleton Airport Memory Site
Username: Flyf15
Posted 2002-10-16 03:14:38 and read 4803 times.

Just flew over Stapleton in a 172 about 3 hours ago. Not much left besides the control tower, the parking garage, and some assorted pieces of runway and taxiway scattered around. Already some houses and other buildings on the site.

Topic: RE: Stapleton Airport Memory Site
Username: BA
Posted 2002-10-16 04:10:56 and read 4775 times.

It is sad that Stapleton is gone for good. I liked the airport, although I always think about how much better the new one is. But it's always good to appreciate the past and what you had.

The land that Stapleton is on will be redeveloped over the next 30 years to include residential, retail, and other types of commerce. It's the largest urban redevelopment in the nation right now.

Like Flyf15 mentioned, there isn't much left.

One of Continental's hangers was converted to a Bowling Alley a while ago.

The parking garage is currently a used by the transit operator in Denver called RTD (Regional Transportation District) which operates the city's bus lines and new Light-Rail lines. The parking garage is a Park-n-Ride.

The control tower will be preserved as a landmark to remind everyone about the old Stapleton airport. Eventually I heard there are plans to develop a restaurant right below it and make it an observation deck. I personally don't want anything done with it. I just want it to remain as is, a landmark to remind everyone that there was once a great airport.

There are some pieces of taxiways and runways like Flyf15 mentioned which will also eventually be removed.

Some of the seats in the concourses at the new airport are actually originals from Stapleton. Many of the jetways were also brought from Stapleton to the new airport. Most of the ground equipment is also from the Stapleton Airport aswell.

If you want more info on the redevelopment of Stapleton, visit there website at:


Topic: RE: Stapleton Airport Memory Site
Username: DIA77
Posted 2002-10-16 04:13:00 and read 4772 times.

Thanks for sharing that link! I have a lot of fond memories of Stapleton. One oddity that just came to my mind is the signs in the bridges that connected the parking garage to the terminal. I remember the signs showing which bridge to take depending on what airline you were flying. For some reason, Cubana, British Caledonian, Air Europa and a few other unusual airlines were listed. Does anyone else remember that sign? I was 18 when the airport closed, and I never really thought to ask someone about the signs. What a great airport though! The new DEN is a very worthy successor.

Topic: RE: Stapleton Airport Memory Site
Username: Jsnww81
Posted 2002-10-16 08:36:12 and read 4715 times.

I too was really pleased when I found the link, which is why I wanted to share it with everyone here. Here are my memories of DEN:

I flew into Stapleton twice, in 1991 and 1993, when I was 10 and 12 years old. I don't remember a whole lot anymore. The first trip (1991) was on a United 727 from Dallas/Fort Worth. We landed on one of the east-west runways - I recall flying over a golf course as we landed - and pulled into a gate at Concourse A. The concourse was very light and airy and had skylights and lots of greenery inside. There were moving sidewalks that went up and down slopes, which were very cool to a 10-year-old. We left a week later on another United 727, this time from the very wide, very crowded Concourse B.

My next trip (1993) was on a chartered Sun Country 727, also from Dallas/Fort Worth. We arrived at night, again landing on an east-west runway. Our 727 docked at Concourse D, which was deserted this time of night (it was occupied by Continental, which by 1993 was starting to scale back its Denver hub drastically). Concourse D was very long, had low ceilings and moving walkways.

I visited Denver in 1995, just a week after the new airport opened. I recall driving past Stapleton on I-70 as we drove out to DIA, and thinking how forlorn it looked, with the terminal and runways completely empty. I think it was that vision of Stapleton that started my interest in abandoned airports.

Topic: RE: Stapleton Airport Memory Site
Username: JohnJ
Posted 2002-10-16 16:40:06 and read 4672 times.

The only time I flew through Stapleton was on the way out to California in the early 1980s on the original Frontier Airlines. I remember seeing the Frontier hangar fairly near the gate. Along with several Frontier 737s, there was also a Frontier Horizon 727 parked at the hangar. At that time Continental and United also hubbed at Stapleton, making the airport one of the very few airports in the US to have sustained three major hub operations simultaneously.

I remember being disappointed my first time through the airport that we weren't in the mountains - despite being billed as the "mile-high city" it's a surprisingly flat city. The mountains don't begin in earnest for 20-30 miles to the west.

Topic: RE: Stapleton Airport Memory Site
Username: Tom in NO
Posted 2002-10-16 17:26:45 and read 4661 times.

I've flown through Stapleton many times, the first being in 1982 while going from ONT-DEN-MIA-FLL on Continental, back when they had a decent hub there. The thing I remember about that stop at DEN was the observation deck that extended out from the third level of the terminal, and looked out on the ramp area between CO/WA's concourse and UA's concourse. It was wintertime, and the SoCal boy I was (and going to school in Florida), it was COLD!!! Those are some of my favorite pictures that I took that day.

The convenience of a large-hub airport so close to town also impressed me, as did all the radio chatter coming from UA's channel 9 the first time I had that pleasure on a DEN trip.

I'll also remember flying into DIA about a week after it opened, for this reason: our approach took us right over Stapleton, and I was on the good side of the airplane. I'm still amazed to look at the two overheads I took of Stapleton at the time to see: a terminal complete with jetways still attached, no airplanes anywhere, and large "X's on the runway ends.....yes, amazed, and a little disappointed. DIA is OK, but it lacks the 'class' that Stapleton had.

Tom in NO (at MSY)

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