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TBT: The last passenger at Stapleton International Airport was a ski bum who didn't know it was closing

When Stapleton closed and DIA opened the morning of Feb. 28, 1995, one passenger remained: a guy who had been skiing in Aspen for two weeks.

DENVER — When Stapleton International Airport closed in 1995, it was a huge deal. After all, moving the airport from near downtown to a 53-square-mile location 25 miles from Denver’s center was a big undertaking for everyone involved.

But one guy who was too busy having two weeks of powder days in Aspen did not get the memo.

Former 9NEWS Reporter Roger Wolfe was at what was once Stapleton International Airport the night of Feb. 27, 1995. What he found was … nothing.

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Credit: 9NEWS File Photo
An empty terminal at Stapleton International Airport.

“Ticket counters are deserted,” he narrated in his 1995 TV package. “Computer screens stare blankly. Escalators are shut down. Doors are taped closed.”

> Watch the video above for 9NEWS' old story on the last passenger at Stapleton.

The once bustling airport was a ghost town, aside from the lone woman at the information desk.

Oh, and the guy with a bag full of skis asleep on a bench.

Wolfe was there when that last passenger at Stapleton International Airport was woken up at 5 a.m. and bused to Denver International Airport, the place where he could actually catch a flight home.

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Credit: 9NEWS File Photo
The last passenger at Stapleton International Airport slowly walks away.

“There’s a guy here that was taking pictures of many things,” that man said. “And he was taking pictures of me, because I was the last passenger at the airport.”

Twenty-five years later, we’re telling this hero’s story once again, because let’s be honest: It’s pretty cool to be the very last passenger at Stapleton.

Want to see more vintage videos of DIA’s 1995 opening? Watch the YouTube playlist below.

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