Is a Popular Colorado Theme Park Actually Moving Locations?
Colorado's largest Theme Park will soon be looking for a new home as its current home will eventually be redeveloped. What does that mean for Denver's famous Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park?
Colorado's Elitch Gardens Theme Park To Move Locations
As a Colorado kid born in the 1980s, I had the pleasure of getting to experience the original Elitch Gardens Theme Park on 38th and Tennyson in Denver. Originally opened in 1890 by John and Mary Elitch, the theme park grew and evolved into something spectacular in its over 100 years there. I remember bits and pieces about the original Elitch's, but I was only 8 years when it moved to its current location in 1993 so my memories of that amazing place probably aren't as clear as they once were.
I remember the Skyride, the amazing log ride, and the fantastic roller coasters, including the "Wild Cat," which was the first roller coaster I ever rode. It truly was a fantastic theme park that quite honestly I wish was still around. My kids would have loved it. Sadly though, they demolished this 100+ year-old park after it relocated to downtown Denver in 1994. Check out this awesome blast from the past video of the old Elitch Gardens.
Video Of The Original Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado
The "New" Elitch Gardens was pretty fantastic though. A brand new updated twist on the original Mr. Twister called Twister II (Now called Twister III: Storm Chaser), a new water ride called Disaster Canyon, and so much more space to grow and play. It was a sight to see when my dad sent us to check it out with my mom in 1994. Now here we are, almost 30 years later in that awesome downtown location, and Elitch Gardens is looking for another new home.
The current land is set to be rezoned as the River Mile Project, which is a mix of residential and retail right on the edge of downtown Denver. While that project is years out, Elitch's will continue in its current location for the time being and is fully invested in continuing to update as well as add new attractions while they search. One possible location for their future relocation? Aurora, Colorado...
Where Is Elitch Gardens Theme Park Moving To?
In an interview with our friends at Westword, the CEO of Revesco Properties (who manages Elitches with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) Rhys Duggan confirmed that they have in fact been in talks with many different location possibilities, including land in the city of Aurora. While he tries to downplay it, the Mayor of Aurora seems a little more optimistic about the potential of Elitch's landing in his city. He even went as far as telling the Westword that:
They're going to be pretty much a little southeast of the Gaylord (Hotel & Resort). I've been in conversation with both sides to make sure there's compatibility. I just want to make sure they fit with the other things that are there. The problem with Elitch's is it's seasonal — it's Memorial Day to Labor Day.
While a brand new Elitch Gardens, more than double the size of its current location would be amazing to have as a neighbor, only being open April through October is a concern for the Gaylord. Although, with Elitch's new Lumanova Holiday lights experience, it could tie perfectly in with the Gaylord's Holiday activities including their amazing ICE! attraction. Nobody has asked for my input just yet, but outside of it being a lot further of a drive than its current location in downtown Denver, being next to the Gaylord Resort would be awesome! We go stay at the Gaylord for a staycation once or twice a year and that would absolutely entice us to go more often. Go play, then stay right next door. The location change might actually help clean the park up a bit too and maybe it wouldn't be used as a summer daycare with it being a bit more of a drive to get to.
No, nothing is confirmed at the moment, and Elitch's will be celebrating its 30th anniversary at its current location next year and will remain where it is for likely another 5 to 10 years. It's no quick and easy job to design, build, and move an entire them & water park so we have some time. That said, get down and enjoy the current fantastic location while you can, and hope that Rhys and his team find the absolute best location for the future of our treasured, and "World Famous" Elitch Gardens.