Elitch Gardens site rezoned, will eventually be replaced

Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2018 9:17 AM | Contributed by J.

The River Mile project won crucial approvals of the Denver City Council with an agreement and rezoning for the 58-acre property, which is currently home to the Elitch Gardens amusement park. There is no immediate plan to shut down Elitch Gardens, but it would eventually be demolished and potentially rebuilt elsewhere.

Read more from The Denver Post.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018 9:36 AM

Hasn’t that park already been moved once?

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018 9:48 AM

Yes they did in 1994/1995. My guess is they don't do an Elitch Gardens 3.0 though. I have never heard anything overly complimentary about the current incarnation of the park. If this all comes to fruition, my guess is it will join the likes of Astroworld and Geauga Lake, with the possible distinction of the land actually being redeveloped.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018 9:57 AM

There is SO MUCH land around Denver, I never understood why they moved it from one landlocked place to another.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018 4:22 PM

I have to wonder what the impact of this will be on Lakeside. If Elitch Gardens isn't there, then Lakeside is the only park in the state, but I'm not sure it's quite large enough to handle the kinds of crowds that could bring.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018 5:46 PM

The city was big on the park moving to that location. It was part of the revitalization of the Platte River Valley. The Pepsi Center opened a few years later, as well as the aquarium on the other side of the river. The park might have had a different future if Sandy Gurtler didn't end up selling to Premier. It outgrew that location real fast.

There are a couple of small parks in the state beside Lakeside. Santa's Workshop and North Pole at the base of Pike's Peak near Colorado Springs. And the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.

It seems the Denver area could support a larger park with more attractions, for sure. But the problem seems that building a park from the ground up is expensive, even moving a park. So as much as I would love to see a bigger and better Elitch's happen, I wouldn't be surprised if they decided it's not worth the expense.

The park's old off site HR building has been torn down for a new development. Santa Fe's Meow Wolf is building a new facility. And part of that includes the redo of Ghost Blasters into Kaleidoscape.

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Friday, December 21, 2018 8:59 PM

Besides relocating from a small, landlocked site to a different small, landlocked site - destroying two classic woodies in the process - I never understood the decision to build and operate the the new Elitch's like a suburban park in a downtown location. If the goal was to revitalize the downtown area, it would have made much more sense to have an open gate and a pay-as-you-go / wristband policy, so people could visit for an hour or two while they were downtown, and not make the place inaccessible to anyone on foot. (You'd maybe have needed to build a bridge across the river, but it seems like that would have been easy enough.)

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018 12:06 PM

The park's move to the new site in the mid 90's was a curious one back then- it did little to solve the problem of the original site being too small. It was probably due to neighborhood pressure to get the park out of suburbia more than anything else. It never became anything special, although I didn't find it to be a terrible place when I was there about a decade ago.

There will be no Elitch Gardens when this one closes. Anyone saying it will be relocated (again) is simply trying to score some PR points and avoid some outcries from residents that never visit the place but talk about how much they'll miss it... or to convince potential guests that it's not being neglected as it winds down.

A shame. Something else to be lost, only to be missed in the future when people start looking for something to do.

Last edited by Rob Ascough, Wednesday, December 26, 2018 12:07 PM
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Wednesday, December 26, 2018 12:56 PM

Rob Ascough said:
...outcries from residents that never visit the place but talk about how much they'll miss it...

Boy does that sound familiar.

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