Denver airport reopens economy lot as passenger traffic rebounds

Denver International Airport will temporarily close one of its hulking garages this weekend for an upgrade as it reopens the east economy lot to travelers — the latest sign that passenger traffic is rebounding from pandemic lows.

DIA converted the east economy lot to employee parking in March 2020, early in the coronavirus pandemic as traffic quickly dropped. It later closed the Pike’s Peak and Mt. Elbert shuttle lots, which haven’t yet reopened. The economy lot, which offers surface parking next to the east garage, will reopen just after midnight Saturday morning, according to a DIA news release.

At the same time, the east garage will close its entrances for three days so that its entry and exit systems can be upgraded to a new payment system that accepts contactless forms of payment, including credit cards with tap features, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The west garage, west economy and east economy have already been upgraded to that system.

The east garage, along with its short-term parking section, will reopen by 7 a.m. Tuesday, the airport says. People who parked their vehicles before the closure will be able to exit, but DIA says they should go through a cashier-staffed lane.

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