Photograph courtesy of Phil Edwards September, 2004 

Denver-Airport, Colorado
Stapleton Plaza
3333 Quebec St


Howard Johnson's purists won't care much for the Denver-Airport location since it was unlike a typical Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge! Actually it was a full service hotel with 225 employees. It was opened in October of 1974 by operator Bruce Howard who was also the owner of Denver's first HoJo's--Denver-South.

Photographs from Landmark April, 1975: Vol. 13, No. 7 page 5

DENVER (AIRPORT) it's spectacular! 

Denver (Airport) is dramatic. From the inner courtyard, a huge open atrium rises eleven stories from the lobby to a skylight. Spotlighted linked chains hang from the skylight with water cascading 100 feet down into a central pool in the lobby. Twenty large planters, hanging from the ceiling, create an indoor Garden of Eden.

Each of the 310 rooms has a private balcony, 65 per cent with a view of the Rockies. The decor features warm colors, rich fabrics and reproductions of Western paintings--19th-century oils and contemporary water colors. Three glass enclosed elevators speed guests to their rooms.



 Photograph from the collection of the Colorado Historical Society

With its preeminent location the Howard Johnson's served Denver's Stapleton Airport, and the hotel was sited very near the airport's entrance. Stapleton was replaced in 1995, and the site has been redeveloped into a planned community. Visit these Websites for more on the former airport:



Even though there was no Orange Roof to be found, the HJ did include the then still-required traditional Restaurant. It was located on the same level as the registration desk and had seating for 145 patrons.  In addition to the HJ Restaurant, the hotel also housed the licensee's own restaurant called the Open Season, which featured "wild game--buffalo, elk, venison, pheasant--and other specialties including rattlesnake."