Denver, Colorado (Abbreviation: EG)
Known at Six Flags Elitch Gardens (1999 - 2006)
Owned by KSE Elitch Gardens / Reversco / Second City, LLLP.
Managed by Premier Attractions Management
Park News - (2/13/19) Is Elitch Gardens preparing to retire their Half-Pipe coaster? Quite possibly, as an ad for a used Half Pipe coaster was placed on the Interlink used ride sales website, along with a picture of the Elitch Gardens ride. You can find it listed here near the bottom of the page when you sort the category to just show Roller Coasters.
(2/12/19) Some readers have sent in some new daytime pictures from Elitch Gardens showing off the missing sections of Twister II as best as they could from public areas.
(2/7/19) A reader sent in a picture from Elitch Gardens taken in the evening this week, where it appears that a section of Twister II’s structure has been entirely removed. Anyone want to swing by in the daylight for a better look at what is going on?
(12/20/18) I said it before and I’ll say it again… enjoy Elitch Gardens while you can, because before you know it, it will be gone. The local news has confirmed that the development project slated to replace Elitch Gardens won the needed approvals on Monday to move ahead with the approval of a broad new design and rezoning plan for the 58-acre property to allow for the construction of several “tall, slender towers” up to 59-stories tall that will contain up to 8,000 residential units along with required “affordable” units for lower income levels.
While the total build out could take about 25 years to finish, the initial phases of construction are expected to begin “in the near future”, starting with “a parking deck and other structures on the park’s current surface parking lots”. This likely means that work could begin on the waterpark side of the property, but given the downtime and maintenance issues the park has been having with the Twister II wooden coaster, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being one of the first major rides to get the axe going forward.
There currently is no set date to completely close the park, but as I described before, what you will see over the next several years is the park start to shrink, things will get old and more run-down as any costly maintenance issues will be carefully measured against the ticking clock to see if they are financially worth the investment to fix, and major new additions will soon be a thing of the past. Instead the park will slowly shrinks smaller and smaller, until it gets to the point where it just isn’t cost effective to run it any longer and then poof… it will vanish forever and be replaced by a forest of skyscrapers.
(9/16/18) According to the local news redevelopment on the Elitch Gardens property could break ground as early as 2020 now, with claims that the new plans and required zoning changes have begun pursuing a more "agressive timeline". Meanwhile some interesting new rumors regarding a new of the park's attractions have come by way as well... with on claiming that inspections on Twister 2 are not turning up very positive results, with large sections of the coaster's wooden structure said to be in need of urgent replacement. If the park is looking to shrink down or close more quickly than previously expected, it doesn't bode well for Twister 2 to get the budget needed for these repairs. I'm also told that the park's "arena" is also expected to be demolished within the next year or two to allow for some of the first phases of condo development.
(8/10/18) According to the latest rumors about Elitch Gardens, the Twister II wooden coaster is closed due to some kind of damage done to the structure under the lift hill. This may take some time to repair and could see the coaster possibly stay closed for the rest of the season. I'm also told that part of the food court is now closed as well... it seems there may have been a minor fire a few weeks back. In other news... remember there was a rumor that Ghost Blasters would get refurbished last winter, but it never happened? The rumor is back again, claiming that the refurbishment project was pushed back until this winter.
(6/13/18) Ugh, here we go again... according to the local news the owners of Elitch Gardens have proposed a new future development plan for the land that would eventually see the theme park wiped off the face of the Earth. Of course they say that they would try to move it to a new location... but if you may recall... this already happened once.
The current Elitch Gardens theme park just opened 23 years ago in 1995. Prior to that it was located in an entirely different location where it existed for a little over a century, from 1890 to 1994. Many would say that Elitch Gardens lost a lot of it's old charm along with the move to the current urban landlocked location downtown within spitting distance of Mile High Stadium and the Pepsi Center.
While the park owner says this is a long-term vision they have for the site, which could see Elitch Gardens remain open for another 20 years, we theme park fans know what Elitch's owners aren't saying. The park will only remain open as long as it's profitable, and any theme park with a looming expiration date isn't likely to invest in costly new attractions in the years to come. As the years pass the only new additions may be lower end attractions with low-price tags, or perhaps discounted items they come across on the used-ride market (much like last year's Star Flyer). But the long term key for theme park survival is to constantly re-invest capital into new attractions to give your guests a reason to return year-after-year. Without that... attendance will soon become stagnant and eventually begin to decline.
Unfortunately for the people of Colorado, theme parks just don't grow on trees out there, and the loss of another Elitch Gardens will be felt unless they really do follow through with some serious plans to build a third version of the park, hopefully in a location with room to grow and a budget to build something that will endure. Otherwise Elitch's loss will be Lakeside Amusement Park's gain.
2019 - Meow Wolf’s Kaleidoscape - (8/25/18) A quick update on the Meow Wolf’s Kaleidoscape dark ride coming to Elitch Gardens. At the time of the announcement it was not confirmed that it would replace the park’s Ghost Blasters dark ride. That was an assumption on my part based on rumors I had seen previously that indicated that something new would be done with it.
That said, Screamscape did successfully reach out to the park who confirmed that, "Yes, all the ghosts have finally been vanquished." and that Meow Wolf‘s Kaleidoscape would be replacing it. "Get ready to be transported to an experience filled with other-worldly motion, deep sound, wild color and interactive challenges on Meow Wolf’s Kaleidoscape. Take the ride 2019!"
The idea of a Meow Wolf dark ride is also an interesting one, as it serves as a sort of year long preview of what to expect from Meow Wolf’s new Denver location coming in 2020.
(8/24/18) Elitch Gardens has announced that the park's Ghost Blasters dark ride will become something entirely new in 2019 under the design of Meow Wolf. Yes, the eclectic themed design attraction in New Mexico is stepping up and will transform the park's old haunted house ride into an all new creation called "Meow Wolf’s Kaleidoscape".
Meow Wolf’s Kaleidoscape will take guests "on a densely immersive and fully interactive experience. Riders who journey on Meow Wolf’s Kaleidoscape will be transported to other-worldly motion, deep sound, wild color and interactive moments that create an immersive world around you. This intriguing attraction will be the first artist-driven dark ride the world has ever seen."
Check out the trippy preview trailer for it below.
(5/9/18) The latest news from Elitch Gardens is that Ghost Blasters will be back this season, and the dark ride received a good bit of off-season refurbishment... though we're told there is a long term plan to transform the ride into something new in the future.
(2/15/18) Screamscape has been informed that the former Ghost Blaster dark ride at Elitch Gardens has been gutted and is getting remade as an all new attraction that will opens sometime during the 2018 season. Anyone know more? If the report is true, the park has been silent about all of this so far and still has Ghost Blasters listed as an active attraction on their website currently. Anyone know more?