DIA parking: Beware the disappearing Mt. Elbert lot!

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In that ballooning budget for Denver International Airport's expansion, do you think officials could find a little extra cash for some signage?

Zooming to DIA two Fridays ago for a one-way flight to Durango (where I was meeting family for a road trip back to Denver), flashing temporary signs outside the full Pikes Peak lot directed me -- as well as many others -- to the remote Mt. Elbert lot. Two days later, when I was getting dropped at DIA so that I could retrieve my car, I suddenly realized that I had no idea how to get to Mt. Elbert. Although I'd parked there many times before, I'd always followed the temporary signs -- and those had disappeared during my two-day absence.

The cop we asked for directions had no idea how we could get to Mt. Elbert. And after we drove around in circles for a while, I finally wised up and just got out at the airport, where I made my way to the shuttle stop. And when I asked the shuttle driver how people were supposed to find Mt. Elbert when the signs were down, the driver just laughed and said he'd heard that question before.

A lot.

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Why no permanent signs at DIA for Mt. Elbert, when there are plenty for Pikes Peak?

That's what I asked airport spokesman Heath Montgomery. "After some research, this is what I learned," he reports. "Directional signs to Mt. Elbert are turned off when the Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot is open. This helps prevent confusion for customers wishing to park in our most economical lot(s). Vehicles are unable to enter Mt. Elbert when it is in a closed status. Shuttles are available from the terminal for those customers wishing to return to Mt. Elbert to pick up their vehicle."

For the record, if you need to get to Mt. Elbert and no signs are up, just take the Peña Boulevard turnoff for Pikes Peak and go past that lot to Jackson Gap, where you take a right and wind around, and around, until you reach Mt. Elbert. Or you could just consult this map from the DIA website:

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Which brings up another question: Who was this Jackson? And what was the mysterious gap?

Maybe it was some missing signage.

From the Calhoun wake-up call archive: "DIA extending Final Approach hours and bathroom access: Pee at last!"

Have a tip? Send it to patricia.calhoun@westword.com.



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17 comments
Tom Rodman
Tom Rodman

Wow....some of you people sound really angry. It must be exhausting to be that mad all the time.

Michelle MyBell
Michelle MyBell

for all you people who have smart phones there's an app for that! find your car dude!

Daniel J. King IV
Daniel J. King IV

Dont park in DIA lots because they're considered City of Denver territory & if you have an AR-15, an AK, or any pistol with more than a 21round mag in your vehicle - Denver can SEIZE your vehicle & SELL it under their Nazi ' Nuisance Abatement' Totalitarian Crap!!! So if you have @NRA or other Pro 2nd Amendment stickers on your vehicles = BEWARE of Denver's 'Geheime Staats Polizei' (Gestapo) !!!

Nathan Chestnutt
Nathan Chestnutt

Do you need me to freelance on finding you guys shit to write about? So close to unfollowing you. My feed is full of your CRAP since I liked your page.

Evelyn Maria
Evelyn Maria

Take a pic of where you park and what door you enter really helps

Devin Ferguson
Devin Ferguson

I take a pic of the parking locator sign I'm closest to. Duh

Craig Hawkins
Craig Hawkins

There is, it's called your mobile device. Use the "Carrr Matey" app.

Craig Hawkins
Craig Hawkins

Nope, it's fine. People shouldn't their forgetfulness on a big parking lot. Write it down, or use your phone to send yourself an email with the parking lot #.

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross

I wish there was a device that you could always have in you pocket, that would allow you to keep track of the location of your car in big parking lots...sigh...a guy can dream.

Adam Aedro Drotar
Adam Aedro Drotar

if you lose your car, no matter where it is, you are an idiot.

Scott R. Shriver
Scott R. Shriver

I would have picked up the phone and dialed the DIA info line. Always a live voice and they have never given me bad answers. Always a friendly voice at the other end. A rare thing these days in age of "there's an app for that." (303) 342-2000.

DaninDen
DaninDen

Poor Pat!Those pesky parking lots seem to be well hidden “just over the next hill”. Paved Paradise &Porta- Potties! You would be sitting pretty (at home) after such a nice family road trip if only the city fore fathers had the foresight to build Lite Rail! But wait they did! At an astounding pace I might add, ‘cept for the last 100 yards, where too many board game (Monopoly) geniuses deemed a Hotel should be built, a terminal touch to an otherwise great idea. What coulda shoulda been a simple loop approach (the tracks, Jack) to the west face of Tent city DIA, Light Rail is terminally terminated, squished beneath Bemothra, (Motel & lounge) a sidekick to Godzillian (known for its cost overrun attacks on the City of Coffers), Watch for Bemothra to sooner or later (dormant prior to the election season)  emerge from its Spanish architect inspired cocoon, visible on the south end of the Airport.

When I was a 10 or 12 yr old kid, in our neighborhood, we easily mastered the building of model race tracks for HO scale (electric!)cars, curves, soaring loops, overpasses, straight aways, all in a few evenings work and play. We knew not to complicate, the adage of form follows function, or add Monopoly game pieces into the mix. But we need space to house the huddled masses when Da Plane comes, or not. Is this same rationale used to allow only one gas station for Metropolis DIA? Maybe throw some cots in the rat warrens beneath terminal where that labor saving automated baggage system gathers dust & cobwebs.

Patricia asks of Jackson Gap, lets say that if you have reached Jackson’s Hole,( WY, where they put the ® in redneck) you have gone too far, as I.

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