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.
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.
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 Denver...like every other city. This is sad from a "cultural" perspective.
From a financial perspective...it MUST be a slam dunk.
"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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!" :)
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...
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)
The views of the city from inside the park were interesting and different for a change.
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?
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