Mitch Gilbert said he found $10,000 in a pair of unmarked Caesar's Palace envelopes in early December as he was preparing to return to his Greenwood Village home after spending a week in Las Vegas, KUSA-TV, Denver, reported Tuesday.
"I wanted to show my kids the right thing to do. It would have been a lot easier keeping it to be honest with you. But I felt like I had to get it back to the right person," Gilbert said.
Gilbert said he called the airport after returning home, but workers refused to even take down his name.
"They didn't do that. It was against the rules. I just said, 'Well, I'll keep calling back and I'll give it 30 days,'" Gilbert said.
Gilbert said an operator eventually told him an El Paso, Texas, man had reported losing $10,000 in two Caesar's Palace envelopes.
"She goes, 'Well, this is breaking the rules, but you're trying to do the right thing,'" Gilbert said.
Gilbert said he was able to deposit the money in Ignacio Marquez's bank account two days before Christmas.
"I would have loved to have $10,000. You think about all the bills you can pay. But it didn't belong to me," Gilbert said. "It felt so good to be able to get it back to the guy. I felt like I was floating on air. I felt like a million bucks."