Convenient Colorado Airports for Meeting Attendees
By Beth Buehler
When planning where to meet, one of the key factors is how people will get there. For those that need to fly, a destination’s accessibility is a key factor. This blog will cover convenient Colorado airports for meeting attendees.
Denver International Airport (DEN) is Colorado’s largest airport and was ranked the third- busiest airport in the world in 2021 based on total passenger traffic, which represents the facility’s highest ever ranking. DEN is bringing in more flights from around the globe and adding 39 new gates through the airport’s Gate Expansion Program, making Colorado one of the most accessible destinations for groups and business and leisure travelers.
The Gate Expansion Program adds gates across all three DEN concourses (A, B and C), increasing gate capacity by 30% and improving the passenger experience by adding amenities such as three outdoor decks, additional shopping and dining, modern seating, charging stations, pet relief areas and more. The C-East expansion, celebrated with a grand opening on May 5, 2022, is the second of four expansion areas completed; the remaining two areas on A-West and B-East are slated to open this fall.
While Denver International Airport is the state’s largest airport and a connecting point for many flights originating from around Colorado and around the country, the overall success and convenience of flying in and out of the state is also reliant on the entire network of airports here.
Two other large Colorado communities, Colorado Springs south of Denver and Grand Junction on the Western Slope, are served by multiple carriers. Colorado Springs Airport (COS) features flights offered by American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and United while Grand Junction Regional Airport (GTJ) has routes operated by Allegiant, American, Frontier and United.
The Front Range also is served by Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL) in Loveland, and southern Colorado has Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB) in Pueblo and Alamosa San Luis Valley Regional Airport (ALS) in Alamosa. In the southwest, Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ) provides access to all sorts of historic treasures like Mesa Verde National Park, and Montrose Regional Airport is in a booming Western Slope community and serves as a gateway to Telluride, Ridgway and Ouray.
It’s also easy to reach mountain destinations like Aspen, Snowmass, Durango, Vail, Beaver Creek, Gunnison, Crested Butte, Telluride and Steamboat Springs via regional airports that are simple to fly to and from due to their compact size. Like Denver International Airport, a fair number has completed or are undergoing significant renovations to improve airport operations, add passenger amenities and accommodate growth. Two examples are Eagle County Regional Airport and Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport.
Network of Colorado Airports with Commercial Flights
Here is a helpful list of Colorado airports. While there are others that welcome private aircraft, these are the most common options for groups.
Alamosa San Luis Valley Regional Airport (ALS)
Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE)
Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ)
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Durango La Plata County Airport (DRO)
Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) – Vail Valley
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GTJ)
Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC)
Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ)
Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL) – Loveland and Fort Collins
Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB)
Telluride Regional Airport (TEX)
Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN) – Steamboat Springs
Combining Modes of Transportation
Once you get attendees to a designated airport, what’s next for transportation? For the ultimate in convenience, book a transportation company in getting attendees from Point A to Point B.
Also see if public transportation makes sense. In Denver, the RTD A Line commuter train offers convenient transportation between Denver International Airport and Union Station in downtown. It’s only $10.50 one way for the easy-to-use, 37-minute ride. Once downtown, it’s easy to hop aboard the Free MallRide to reach various hotels and venues situated along or nearby 16th Street Mall. Make sure to check the MallRide route as 16th Street Mall is currently being renovated.
There also are various light rail routes that depart from the beautifully renovated Denver Union Station, which has a nice variety of restaurants, bars and shops. Amtrak also runs daily routes to Grand County, Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction from Union State on the California Zephyr train. In winter, Amtrak’s Winter Park Express delivers riders to Winter Park Resort, providing easy access to ski slopes and the base area.
Some hotels located not far from airports across the state offer free shuttle services, so make sure to inquire when considering options for accommodations and meeting space.
The moral of this story is that there many convenient Colorado airports for meeting attendees and planners to access for gathering in the Centennial State. Ask local destination marketing organizations or hire a destination management company to plug into the best options. Happy flying!
Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 17 years and helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine in 2013. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.