For those fearing that even more landmarks of old Denver would shutter permanently during the pandemic, good news came over the weekend: Lakeside Amusement Park posted to Facebook that it is planning to reopen sometime this summer.
Yes, we know, Lakeside isn't technically in Denver; it's in the minuscule town of Lakeside, population eight as of the 2010 census. The tiny community was set up in the early 1900s to skirt Denver's prohibitionist liquor laws that would have forced the park to be booze-free.
Still, Lakeside is as Denver as Denver can be, a place where this city's residents have been making pilgrimages for decades to catch the rickety rides on hot summer nights.
The park reopening doesn't just mean a return to fun and summertime tradition. The reboot also means that dozens of jobs are back, and to pull off a comeback, Lakeside is hunting for 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 to Facebook. "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."
The historic park, which was built in 1908 in the Beaux Arts style and originally called White City, still boasts many of its historic structures, unlike other old-fashioned amusement parks built around that time that have either been torn down or scrapped for newer rides and buildings. And that means there are plenty of repairs to be done before Lakeside can launch.
"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."
Unlike Denver's Elitch Gardens, where admission currently runs $44.99 per person per day (a reduction from the typical $69.99 price of entry), Lakeside has traditionally offered a much more affordable experience, with $3.50-per-person gate admission and ride coupons running fifty cents to three dollars.
Park-goers have been known to go in thinking that à la carte rides were a good idea and then blow gobs of money, regretting not buying an all-day pass. The rates currently posted online are $17 per person per visit on weekdays and $27 per person per visit on weekends and holidays.
While Elitch Gardens, which is Denver's oldest amusement park, moved from its original home in northwest Denver three decades ago — and may move again to make way for the River Mile development — Lakeside has stayed in the same spot on Sheridan Boulevard from the start.
The park will be paying $12.40 an hour for gig work, and says it's also hoping to find employees to run the park through the season. That includes maintenance, grounds and office workers; ride operators; food and game-stand attendants and more. Employees will need to be available for nights and weekends through mid-September; summer workers must be 16 or older and have a picture ID.
Applicants can apply to Lakeside online or visit the park's tower entrance at I-70 and Sheridan; call 303-477-1621 for more information.
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