December 19, 2018 – The Denver City Counsel approved a redevelopment agreement and rezoning for the River Mile project’s 58-acre property, which is currently home to Elitch Gardens amusement park. Developer Rhys Duggan plans to build roughly 8,000 residential units and some of the city’s tallest buildings along the South Platte River. Construction of the full River Mile plan will take 25 years and development will start with a parking deck and other structures on the park’s current parking lots in the near future. There is no immediate plan to shut down Elitch Gardens, according to Duggan, but it would eventually be demolished or potentially rebuilt elsewhere.
It’s too early to accurately predict exactly what will happen to the park, but Elitch Gardens was relocated approximately three miles (5 km) southeast to its current location 24 years ago. The original park operated from 1890-1994 and had three operating coasters at the time. The two woodies, Wildcat and the famous Mr. Twister, were demolished and only the Arrow Dynamics Sidewinder launched shuttle loop coaster survived.
Today Elitch Gardens has six coasters, including the Twister II woodie, which would likely see its demise if the park were relocated yet again. Elitch Gardens was purchased from CNL Lifestyle Properties in 2015 by a group of local investors and is run by Premier Parks.
See what our members are saying about the redevelopment and its effect on the park in our Forum discussion.