Denver Airport Restaurant Leaving Priority Pass

Filed Under: Travel

Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of independent airport lounges, with over 1,300 lounges around the world. One of the cool things that Priority Pass has done is that they’ve added all kinds of restaurant locations to their portfolio.

With these restaurants, members receive a certain dollar credit towards food & drinks. These restaurants have been especially common at airports and terminals where Priority Pass couldn’t otherwise reach agreements with lounge operators.

One of the most popular US Priority Pass restaurants is Timberline Steaks & Grille, located in Concourse C of Denver Airport. Well, unfortunately there’s some bad news on that front. Timberline Steaks & Grille will be leaving Priority Pass on October 16, 2019. This is also noted on their Priority Pass page.

Timberline Priority Pass page

What’s interesting is that in early 2018 there were reports that the restaurant would soon be closing, and that several existing establishments would become a new restaurant. So I guess we’ll see if that still happens, or what exactly is planned for the future of the restaurant.

While not imminent, the good news when it comes to lounges is that the Amex Centurion Lounge Denver is expected to open at some point in 2020. The lounge will be located in Concourse C as well, and will be nearly 15,000 square feet.

Denver Airport is getting a Centurion Lounge

Bottom Line

I know a lot of people loved Timberline, so this is a big loss for Priority Pass at Denver Airport. This is the only Priority Pass location at the airport, so hopefully they’ll able to work out something with another restaurant or lounge in the meantime.

Will you miss having Timberline at Denver Airport?

  1. Hey Lucky, what is your source for the restaurant itself closing? I’m local to DEN and am unable to find any article or statement from the airport or news outlets to this effect. And the PP page only states that the restaurant is leaving the program, not that it is closing.

    I don’t doubt your accuracy, but curious where you heard it from!

  2. Recall that there’s a Plaza Premium lounge coming to the A concourse. Not all Plaza Premium lounges are Priority Pass accessible but many are.

  3. I am betting that when AmEx stopped this PP privilege, that restaurant lost a lot of business. Wonder how many more PP airport restaurants will fail.

  4. I suspect this restaurant made most of it sales and money from Amex priority pass.

    No way was the restaurant losing money even if they had to give $28 of credit at a discounted price.

    When I’ve gone there, almost everyone was using a priority pass. I’m not sure they had much other business although it was a nice place

  5. I’ll definitely miss Timberline, as I went dozens of times in the past 2 years being in DEN. However, it now makes the decision much easier to cancel my Citi Prestige card.

    I don’t think Amex dropping PP restaurants is the main reason for them closing, but it may have contributed to it. The majority of the people using PP at Timberline had Chase cards from what I could tell.

  6. I don’t know that anyone particularly loved Timberline, but we loved having a PP option in Denver. If you’re starting or ending your trip in a smaller western city, chances are you go through DEN or SLC so it’s a bummer if neither have a PP option.

  7. The food was pretty awful and the restaurant was chaotic and dirty — no fault of the staffers, though, who worked extremely hard to deal with PP customers.

  8. Seems like the writing is on the wall that priority pass does not have a sustainable business model, at least with restaurants.

  9. Bummer- we live an hour flying time from DEN. Twice, we have used our SW companion pass to fly up to DEN for 24 hours- eating @ Timberline, staying at a hotel on points to see a Rockies game. Fun short trip!

  10. I had a great experience here on Thursday. Airport was absolutely packed due to weather in Houston. Lots of diversions actually to Denver.

    Great chicken sandwich and a few beers with friends. Service was great. Sad to see them shut-down

  11. Lots of western US hubs are losing Priority Pass lounges and restaurants.

    Phoenix (my home airport) is gone now, soon to be replaced by a Centurion lounge… and far fewer people have Amex Platinum (I don’t, only my husband does) than Chase or Citi cards with Priority Pass.

    Denver is gone. Salt Lake City has never had one. LAX has a few restaurants scattered throughout terminals, but the airlines lounges in PP have odd hours and are difficult to access (Alaska Lounges are only open once in a blue moon for PP members). Or in the case of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, worthless (they cut back almost all food and drink service for Priority Pass members, and it’s a tiny room). Korean Air lounge is solid (large, with good food, a bar, and showers) but a huge trek to access unless you’re in TBIT, and it’s only open to PP part of the day.

    It seems like the Club at SEA / San Jose / Las Vegas are the only lounge concept that is actually reliable and works for Priority Pass. They are small and generally don’t have luxuries like showers, but they have middle-shelf bar service, appetizer-style snacks, and comfortable seating that is really all most domestic travelers are looking for.

  12. From what I observe, PP targets mostly restaurants that are of moderate quality. The owners think of making a quick buck and for the first few weeks everything is okay. As word gets out, more and more PP members come into the restaurant and this leads to delays in getting the food out. The owner puts pressure on the staff and they begin to cut corners leading to meals of less quality.

    This drives away the cash paying customers, who I think will pay more money instead of watching their $28 credit. So soon the restaurant subsists on mainly PP customers. With a captive market in mind the owner decides to cut quality of the food as PP have little options.

    As a result, not only has service quality decreased due to the large influx of customers but it is soon followed by a decrease in the quality of ingredients.

  13. @Brandon — That’s definitely not true, I’ve been there twice in that time, including 2 days ago, and my PP was accepted…

  14. I’ve been to that restaurant more times than I can count over the last 2 years, including yesterday (and I did receive credit for my Citi Prestige Priority Pass). I had no idea it was shutting down, and the place certainly didn’t look like it was struggling, with a line going out the door. Perhaps I’ve been there too many times, but like others in this thread, I have grown a bit tired of their food options – the burgers are pretty good, but the steaks will definitely take you above your $28 quota, and their salad/appetizer options were very limited (last time I ordered a salad to eat in, the dressing wasn’t even mixed in, as if it was meant to be taken to go, except that they don’t allow for to go orders with Priority Pass anymore). I too experienced their grill “outage” a few months back, which led to a very limited menu consisting mainly of disgusting cold wraps. They do have a full bar, and $28 can get you about 2 cocktails which are much better than anything you’d find in a non-Centurion lounge. I can’t wait for the new Centurion lounge to open in 2 years; it will be a much needed upgrade for this growing airport. With this restaurant going away, I should finally be able to justify cancelling my Citi Prestige card before the next annual fee comes due (but after claiming the $250 credit one more time in January).

  15. Timberline was fine – before it started accepting Priority Pass. The quality went downhill after.

    At the end of the day, in the US, Priority Pass simply isn’t that useful outside of The Club and maybe the Escape Lounges. Too many cardholders probably. In terms of lounge access, the best options remain Amex Platinum (Delta, Centurion, Priority Pass) then I guess the AA and United club cards. Any serious domestic traveler will focus on one of the airline club networks.

  16. Will be fondly remembered. Started my Madagascar honeymoon 2 years ago with a layover in DEN and a breakfast at Timberline with PP. Been there a handful of times since. Nothing spectacular, but a decent selection considering it effectually becomes free.

  17. Whenever you define how much something costs, any savvy business man will cut cost wherever possible, e.g. quality has to inevitably go down the drain. Not sure that has happened here but was sort of unmemorable place when I`ve been there maybe 2-3 month ago.

  18. I was never impressed with Timberline. Lackluster service and mediocre and overpriced food. No wonder they wanted PP customers. That’s the only reason I would go there. If you’ve got a bad business, nothing will save you.

  19. Hey Lucky

    I am at the restaurant now and they confirmed the restaurant is not closing but they will be discontinuing acceptance of Priority Pass

  20. Everyone is reporting this restaurant is closing which is not correct. They are discontinuing priority pass on 10/16.

  21. It sucks. I read that people abused the PP credit for a while, hence the rules.

    I thought the credit waa a great value for breakfast, nothing like free steak and eggs.

    The prices for dinner were ridiculous, and absolutely not worth the cost unless you had Priority Pass. I never saw it not crowded, even after AMEX dropped restaurants. If I was paying cash, i never would have bothered. The food was decent though.

  22. As most people stated, the food here was mediocre, 8~9 beers, sandwhiches and burgers between 12~16 dollars, salads at 9$ and the service being slow, basically its an upscaled fast food place. Either business such as timberline or PP needs to get their game together and start offering a service here in Denver

  23. I don’t believe this is accurate. I was there September 30. They said they were leaving the program, not closing. I think the writing is on the wall for all PP non-club cash allowances in bars and restaurants. Hard to see how it is sustainable.

  24. Definitely were open yesterday and rejecting all PP holders. It sucked to learn the hard way as a serial diner. 🙂 Their salads were really good. Steaks weren’t that good honestly. The burgers weren’t bad if you removed half the bun. The desserts were decent enough. I will miss them and having lounge access in Denver. Thinking seriously of canceling my sapphire reserve card now that the best benefit is nearly useless.

  25. I spoke with a staff member of Timberline, last Friday, November 29th. The reason Timberline stop accepting Priority Pass had nothing to do with them, it came from Priority Pass. They had another restaurant/lounge lined up to accept Priority Pass but haven’t finished it yet. Thus, yes, they pulled the plug too soon. The staff member said they were fine with what they made on Priority pass and yes some people abused the card. I asked if customers tipped appropriately. That is you should tip according to the cost of your food/beverage before the Priority Pass discount. He said most customers did tip correctly, but some didn’t. People please, when you get $60+ of food/beverages and Priority Pass reduces that to $4, you don’t tip on the $4 but on the $60. This is why we can’t have nice things, because a few people abuse it . . . . .

  26. I heard the same thing that Bob Johnson did. Talked to one of the managers and she said it was Priority Pass who cancelled. She said they were actually making money with the PP deal. She also said that she had heard that Priority Pass would be opening a lounge there in the future. We shall see.

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