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Enjoy a Beer Inside an Old Air Traffic Control Tower

One brewery is opening the doors to a once-abandoned air traffic control tower.

Flyteco has repurposes the Stapleton tower space (Photo: Flyteco)

Not too often can you tour an air traffic control tower, let alone enjoy an adult beverage in one. Even if no longer active, towers are notoriously difficult to repurpose as venues. Municipal fire codes and the like create challenges about crowding the cab area and lack of egress.

Nevertheless, a Denver-based brewery is opening the doors to a now-retired air traffic control tower, according to Westword. Located at 3120 Uinta Street, the 164-foot-tall structure once belonged to Denver Stapleton Airport, which preceded Denver International Airport. The entire space has been closed since 2020, but the actual tower has always been off-limits.

FlyteCo Brewing started occupying the space in 2022. The aviation-themed brewing company previously only occupied the first three floors of the building, but will now also offer tours of the tower space.

How to Visit

Starting on November 15, those interested can tour the tower for only $10. The brewery says that tours will be available every Wednesday. Given that the facility lacks a working elevator, patrons will need to climb eleven flights of stairs. And of course, some brews will be available upon reaching the top for those over 21 years old. Attendees must be at least ten years old to attend.

“Our knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the role of air traffic control in the world of aviation. Learn about the critical work that happens within the tower, ensuring the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in and out of the airport,” the brewery’s Eventbrite page says. While there are no airplanes anymore, the tower offers panoramic views of the region.

Originally opened in 1929 as Denver Municipal Airport, Stapleton served the Mile High City until 1995. Boasting six runways and five terminal concourses, most of Stapleton’s remnants have been removed and turned into a local park. The tower is a largely standalone reminder of the well-known airport.

Several abandoned air traffic control towers exist across the U.S. Just to name a few, both Austin’s Robert Mueller Municipal Airport and Washington’s Dulles International Airport original towers still stand tall, but are no longer functioning.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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