Elitch Gardens will operate at 18 percent capacity with new safety measures in place.

After a 1-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Elitch Gardens said it has received permission from the City of Denver and the State of Colorado to open for the 2021 season with new health and safety guidelines in place.

Season pass holders can visit the park on April 24 and 25. The park will open to the general public on May 1.

"After having to be closed all of last season, all of us at Elitch Gardens are extremely excited to be able to once again deliver the kind of outstanding family fun we've been known for over the past 130 years," said David Dorman, general manager of Elitch Gardens.

The amusement park has taken extensive steps to ensure the safety of guests and employees. It said it has built its COVID-19 suppression plan around recommendations from local authorities, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and industry organizations such as the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and the World Waterpark Association.

Up to 3,200 guests will be allowed into the park at a time, which is about 18 percent of its full capacity. Both season pass holders and day ticket guests will be required to make a reservation, park officials said.

Other safety measures include:

  • Guests and team members will be required to wear a face-covering while in the park, except for children under age 2 and those participating in water activities.
  • Team members and guests will undergo a verbal health screening and temperature check.
  • Park staff will routinely clean and disinfect touchpoints, including rides, counters, and high-touch surfaces.
  • Signs, markers, and visual queues will assist guests with social distancing while in line.
  • Park seating and other social layouts are being arranged to ensure proper distancing.
  • Freehand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the park, and guests will be required to use hand sanitizer before boarding rides and attractions.
  • Training will be provided to all team members on COVID-19 safety protocols and safe behaviors.

In preparation for the upcoming season, Elitch Gardens said it is looking to hire 1,500 employees for open seasonal jobs, from ride operators to foodservice and security.

After months of attempting to develop a plan to open for the 2020 season, the park announced in July 2020 it would be unable to do so because of COVID-19 restrictions. It was the first time in 130 years the park did not open for the summer season. The park announced 2020 season pass holders would automatically be transferred to a 2021 VIP Season Pass, and single-day tickets repurchased in 2020 would also transfer to the 2021 season.

Will you be the first one in line this season at Elitch Gardens? Let us know in the comments which ride you'll be on first.