Well, today I took two proactive steps towards doing my part to try and save Elitch’s. After getting a glimmer of hope finding out that there are companies interested in Elitch’s as an amusement park, I tracked down one of the companies. One of these is Herschend Family Entertainment, the owners of Dollywood. I am also reading that there are local groups expressing an interested in keeping the park alive, but I can’t find any evidence of who those groups are right now.
But following is the comment I submitted to them through their website:
“I am writing to express my concerns and hopes regarding Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado. This may not be the proper channel, but I wanted to plead with your company to look at saving the park. Denver needs to have an amusement park, and it is a great place for youth to start off their job hunt each year. I really don’t like the idea of Elitch Gardens becoming yet more condos! I do hope that your company gives serious consideration to adding this park to your chain. I have not had the pleasure of making it to any of your parks as of yet, but I am planning a journey to Dollywood next year. I have heard great things about the way your parks are run, and would love to see fresh management come in and bring integrity to Elitch Gardens again! Thanks for listening.”
I received a response saying thank you for taking the time to write and that my comment was being forwarded on to the corporate offices.
The other step I took was writing Denver’s own Mayor Hickenlooper. I am not sure what he can do, but I felt it was worth a try. Here is what I wrote to him:
“Dear Mayor Hickenlooper,
I would like to express my concern over the possible loss of Elitch Gardens to the Denver and Colorado Community. As a major part of the city for 116 years now, it has been a primary player in revenue for the city. I am writing to ask you to stand firm in making sure that Elitch Gardens remains an amusement park.
I know there are many developers that feel that we need to tear the park down and put up more condos and shopping. When I look at the amount of real estate for sale, it seems to me that is a saturated market and not something that would be beneficial to that part of the city.
Not only does Elitch’s generate revenue to the city through its sales tax, but there is also all the extra revenue that is gained by out of town visitors that spend money on gas, hotels, and shop at places like Cherry Creek and the Pavilions. On top of the revenue it generates, it is also one of the largest employers of youth in this city. It is a great first job for many needing to get experience in the workforce. Don’t forget the benefit to conventions having an amusement park that close to the convention center. It is a major benefit to a city having a major amusement park like Elitch’s, as far as tourism goes, I would imagine it would be at least equal to towns having major sports teams which we are also blessed with.
I would ask that you exhaust every avenue available to keeping this asset to Denver. I don’t know what their feelings on taking on more parks in their chain, but I believe that Elitch’s could be a great fit for Herschend Family Entertainment, owners of Dollywood, and other amusement parks across the country. Their website is: http://www.hfecorp.com/Brands/.
I am sure that much of what I have suggested is already being investigated, but as a concerned citizen of Colorado, I want to do my part to try and save this Colorado legend!
Thank you for your time, and I hope to be able to look forward to many years to come at Elitch Gardens.”
I will let you know if I receive a response from either of them. If you feel as passionately as I do, please take some time and write to them as well. The more response they get to this issue, the better our chances of saving Elitch’s. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I know it was a long blog.
See my previous postings on this development:
May the Fun Keep Coming Denver’s Way
Who Cares That Its Been Entertaining Denver for 116 Years!