Six Flags Elitch Gardens future a source for much debate

Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 9:24 AM | Contributed by Jeff

With Six Flags Inc. shopping Denver's Elitch Gardens as part of a six-park portfolio, the downtown site's future is up for grabs. Does it make more sense for the high-profile 75-acre Central Platte Valley parcel to remain an amusement park, or is it prime for redevelopment into urban housing and office complexes?

Read more from The Denver Post.

Related parks

Monday, August 21, 2006 9:25 AM
Come on... who really wants more suburban crap there? I doubt anyone other than developers want that.
Monday, August 21, 2006 10:02 AM
Urban housing?

Um... will it be cheap? If you're building some housing on a 75 acre parcel of land that cost $60 million, I'm guessing that it won't be cheap and wouldn't be desireable to live there. Office buildings I could see. Tall condos or sky scraper apartments I couldn't, not in that part of town.

Premier Parks was stupid to move the land-locked park into a land-locked area in the first place.

~Rob Willi

Monday, August 21, 2006 10:24 AM
I always thought the downtown setting was neat. It provided what little charm this "cookie cutter" had to offer. There are few (any?) downtown parks around.

If Vegas is comparable...I can bet that condos or time shares will trump any amusement park (see Wet N Wild, MGM Grand, etc). Look what they are doing to ruin the Myrtle Beach "atmosphere." This is the trend EVERYWHERE.

There MUST be a ton of profit in this "mixed use" crap. The young and wealthy combined with retired love to have it all within walking distance. I see no way a "chain park" (specifically one in debt) resists the quick buck. Only somebody firmly comitted to amusement parks would look at this long term.

I highly doubt the local government sees beyond the increased tax base. Denver is about to make a big mistake IMHO. They are going to lose a unique (in terms of setting) downtown park and replace it with condos which will make every other city. This is sad from a "cultural" perspective.

From a financial MUST be a slam dunk.

Monday, August 21, 2006 10:36 AM
Here is a part of the article that caught my eye.

"Insiders say roughly a dozen possible bidders could be interested in the six parks. Las Vegas businessman Franklin Boyer is the first to come forward. He said he is trying to put together a group of investors that would continue to run the properties as amusement parks. "

That sounds like a good development for the future of the six parks on the block.

Monday, August 21, 2006 11:34 AM
I don't know Jeffrey, my buddy lives downtown and says the place is overbuilt. It might not be a slam dunk.

The place already has the capital investment. It would probably be easier to keep it as a park. Then again, how many investment groups have experience running a park? Most have plenty of experience developing condos or what have you. It's easier to stick with what you know right? Even if it costs more?

Monday, August 21, 2006 12:35 PM
Someones trying to keep all of them running? A new theme park chain? I wouldn't hate that.
Monday, August 21, 2006 1:28 PM
What I believe would be best for Denver is one "Kennywood" style park with a wide variety of rides, good coasters, some vintage traditional rides, beautiful gardens, and great lighting at night. Also, unlike KW, there should be a waterpark somewhere in or near the park.

I say this because KW seems to combine some of the best features of Lakeside and the "old" Elitchs Gardens while also containing some newer rides.

As for a "downtown" setting, one of the things that I liked about SFAW was that you could see the city skyline from some of the rides. Too bad that park is gone.

Monday, August 21, 2006 2:13 PM
I hope you are right jan.

Arthur, I know it would take some work...but Lakeside has the land and signature coaster to be a good "traditional" park. Heck...I like it now. :)

There is no doubt it would need a huge capital expenditure...but Lakeside could be a classic, in the KW tradition should anybody ever decide to make it happen.

...Maybe if Elitch goes away...Lakeside could flourish. I may be in the minority, but it is STILL my favorite Denver park.

Monday, August 21, 2006 2:44 PM
I think the move was smart for Elitch's back in 95 to that location. Denver wanted them there, and was willing to sell the land dirt cheap to them, and still give them a hefty loan to help the move. Not to mention, at the time, the Pepsi Center was not right next door, which would have left a lot of room for expansion. Also, the owners who moved Elitch's there, probably never intended for it to become what the park is today.

Some othere notes about the land...there are 3 train tracks and 2 lightrail tracks that run along the east side of the property, and I mean right along it. And it get's VERY loud, anybody who has ever been to the park can back me up on that I'm sure. That's something that anybody planning on putting condo's there would have to take into consideration, besides the floodplain it sits on cause of the platte river.

Monday, August 21, 2006 4:28 PM
Maybe Kennywood Entertainment could bring this about at Lakeside someday. Look what they did with Lake Compounce. I don't believe that Lakeside would be that expensive to acquire because of its less than premium location and its older rides. KW put close to $75 million in new improvements into LC and something like this would make Lakeside an outstanding park that combined both tradition and new attractions.

My main question is, would KE want to get involved in a park that is 1500 miles from Pittsburgh. Of course, nobody expected them to take on a park that was nearly 500 miles away either.

Monday, August 21, 2006 5:55 PM
How did we go from, "...the city, which invested more than $30 million in redeveloping the property for Elitch Gardens, opposes changing its use" in the artcle from August 8th to, "City officials remain neutral" in this article?

Am I to believe that in less than two weeks the city has wavered from backing it as a park to listening to both sides and being 'neutral'?

Does it also mean if I follow the trendline that in two more weeks the city will be saying, "Taer it down!!1!1!" :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:20 AM
If the city is willing to pay whatever the developers would pay for the land, then ensure that expenses would be covered and profits guaranteed....then I'm sure they could find a park operator willing to take on this project....otherwise, looks like a pipe-dream to me... ;)

Also, let's just say that not all of us were convinced that this place COULD remain a park, even when the city was claiming it would...sad but true... :(

Like AstroWorld, land values speak louder than politicians' bluster...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 6:17 PM
That area is right next to Lodo, and downtown. That is an incredibly desireable area to live in.

Frankly, I have to say that having lived in Denver for several years in the early part of this decade, I never went to Elitch's. But I was in Lodo quite often. I am an enthusiast, but that park never seemed very attractive to me. Actually kind of sad.

I now live in Tampa, and have gone to BGA more times than I can count. (but ironically- never go downtown)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 1:42 AM
I just returned to NJ after a trip out west that took me to Elitch's. I bypassed the $15.00 parking charge and opted for on street meter parking - $4.00 for four hours - plenty of time to do this park. It is very apparant that Six Flags Inc. is not sinking another dime into this park. It was disgustingly dirty and run down looking but I will say that with a lot of TLC, the park could be a very nice one - even with the limited if any expansion possibilities. Any park industry buyer could turn a buck - just get rid of the Six Flags name given their history of running parks into the ground and dumping them.

The views of the city from inside the park were interesting and different for a change.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 3:50 PM
This park is a diamond in the rough, sitting in downtown Denver waiting to be found! You are right Arthur, KW is an outstanding park and it is in one of the worst areas of Pittsburgh. Denver has enough EMPTY condos!

Elitch's is an institution to Denver as Kennywood is to Pittsburgh. Let's see, selling this property for the land value puts how many people out of work?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 4:25 PM
I'd rather see the park moved to somewhere it isn't landlocked. I'd also like to see the 'Gardens' return, obviously wouldn't happen right away, but being at Elitch's at high noon when the sun is out is not fun. Let Waterworld be the water park of the area and just do dry rides w/ a few wet rides such as a flume & rapids ride.

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC