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Reader: Merge Lakeside Amusement Park and Casa Bonita Into One Tourist Trap!

Will Lakeside Amusement Park open this summer?
Will Lakeside Amusement Park open this summer?
Jay Vollmar
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Lakeside Amusement Park is a Denver landmark. Built in 1908 in the Beaux Arts style and originally called White City, it was an architectural marvel a century ago, and today people marvel that the old-fashioned amusement park still stands.

It didn't open last year, and there was some question if it would ever come back. But last weekend, Lakeside announced that it would reopen sometime this summer...once it finds employees and gig workers. "Do you love Lakeside and the magic that can come to life in the summer? Lakeside is gearing up to open this summer and is looking to hire all sorts of wonderful, capable people (age 18 and older) for both short term work and for work for the remainder of the summer," Lakeside posted on its Facebook page. "If you or any friends are willing to share your talents (even for a few weeks) or for some 'gig' type projects, please let us know."

In their comments on the Westword Facebook page regarding Lakeside employment opportunities, as well as our history of the amusement park, readers let the managers of Lakeside know plenty: Says Diane:

Clean it up. Put fresh paint throughout the whole park and maybe replace all those burnt-out bulbs on the tower and bring back all of those original attractions like the fun house. Make Lakeside Amusement Park an exciting place to go again

Adds Ryan:

It’s an iconic park full of impressive history, and I hope they can come out of their own hardships and the hardships from COVID. With the money to restore and preserve, it would be an amazing place, and the thought of bulldozing it is sad. You can’t reproduce the history, architecture and the classic coaster, but it can all be maintained.

Responds Jay: 

110 years old and still has all the original rides.

Notes Les:

Ahh... good ol' Lakeside. Sticking to those '80s wages. Good times.

Offers Jason:

"We are particularly looking for people with skills working with stucco, brick, tuckpointing, carpentry, welding, lubing and other handy-man skills," Lakeside wrote. "We are also looking for individuals who are able to move heavy items, and clean, rake, or paint." $12.40/hr, no benefits. Good luck with that.

What troubles me besides the pay and no benefits is that it really sounds like they are looking for welders at 12.40/hr. Are those welds on rides?!?! "It was fun until the ride fell apart and everyone died"

Replies Melissa: 

I'm 40 years old. Lakeside was a death trap when I was a kid. My parents said it was a death trap when they were kids. It's 110 years old. Their rides are sketchy as hell. They definitely NEED skilled workers to repair that place, but after all this time, and all the shenanigans with their history, they also need to PAY good for professional work. I'm honestly surprised they haven't been shut down for safety issues. It's BADDDDD dude.

Suggests Ryan:

I cannot believe they haven't leveled this dump and built an entire neighborhood of housing. The owners could retire tomorrow if they sold that land for what it's likely worth.

Offers Jontee:

On a slightly related note, can we move Casa Bonita to Lakeside? Or just put this whole amusement park in Casa Bonita? One big tourist trap, one convenient location. Get a delicious plate of "food" while waiting to be rescued.

When were you last at Lakeside Amusement Park? What do you think should be done with the place? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com. And if you missed our history of Lakeside, read it here.

Welcome to White City, the original incarnation of Lakeside.
Welcome to White City, the original incarnation of Lakeside.
Denver Public Library

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