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DIA officials blame upcoming holiday for parking woes

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Posted at 9:22 AM, Oct 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-10 11:44:25-04

DENVER — A sea of cars covered Denver International Airport's parking lots Saturday as nearly every lot was at capacity.

Airport officials believe the upcoming Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day is to blame. They were asking travelers not to drive to the airport, but instead use RTD or rideshare.

"We recommend that before passengers head to DEN, they visit our homepage at to see real-time parking capacity for the DEN lots, and visit [the website] for off-site shuttle parking options," airport spokesperson Alex Renteria wrote in a statement.

The Pikes Peak and Mt Elbert shuttle parking lots are not available, which were shut down around the start of the pandemic and remain closed.

"We know passengers are eager for DEN to reopen Pikes Peak and Mt. Elbert shuttle lots. Our goal is to reopen those lots before the end of the year. We are seeking shuttle bus drivers to ensure the lots can run 24/7," Renteria wrote.

However, Southwest Airlines fliers had extra time to find parking as 50% of Southwest flights out of DIA were either canceled or delayed due to, what the airline called, air traffic control issues and disruptive weather.

The parking lot situation was unchanged Sunday morning as most lots were reported to be at or near capacity.