Elitch Gardens moved once before. Who's to say that Elitch's couldn't move again? But where would it go?Denver Community Planning and Development will hold a public meeting on Thursday, February 22, to toss around ideas and plans for the Central Platte Valley Auraria District, which lies between I-25, Speer Boulevard, and Auraria Parkway. The area includes Elitch's (officially called Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park), which has for years been the subject of a potential move. The truth is, Denver is growing -- and frankly, Elitch's is in the way. Combined with its sprawling parking lot, the amusement park takes up 67.7 acres of downtown space along the South Platte River and is only open for six months of the year, May through October. That's a lot of black-top prime real estate that could be utilized in another way. [caption id="attachment_31210" align="aligncenter" width="875"] Courtesy of denvergov.org[/caption] As far back as 2007, Denver city planners were thinking ahead to the effect of mass transit on the area and the potential of building additional housing and an attractive, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use space (as is the current trend). The official Denver Downtown Area Plan, which was published 11 years ago, states:
"Future opportunities to densify these areas are beginning to emerge as transit use increases and parking demand decreases."And now it seems like city planners are ready to discuss it in more detail. The public meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, February 22, at Commons on Champa (1245 Champa Street, Denver). Anyone is welcome to attend. Read the event flier here: [caption id="attachment_31208" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Courtesy of denvergov.org[/caption]
Elitch's moved to its current location in 1995 after outgrowing its original home (of 105 years) at 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street. It cost $90 million to build the new park and move some of Elitch's existing rides to the downtown Denver location. The park spent seven years under the Six Flags umbrella (1999–2006), but is currently owned by Stan Kroenke (also the owner of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche) and operated by Premier Parks, LLC. Kroenke purchased the theme park in 2015. For more information on the public meeting, click here. So what do you think? Should Elitch's make a big move to free up space for other downtown development? Where would you recommend they move it to? Will you be attending the meeting on February 22? Please share your opinion in the comments below!