on August 31, 2016 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Continued uncertainty for Heritage Square

Continued uncertainty for Heritage Square

With demolition of the old commercial section of Heritage Square half complete, property owner Martin Marietta still does not know what the land will be home to in the future.

Although a couple of things are being discussed, there’s “nothing definitive,” said Pete Bovis, the square’s property manager with Martin Marietta.

But “residential, big box retail and mining … are not options for the next life of the property,” said Bovis, explaining that’s not the direction the company wants to pursue.

Martin Marietta bought Heritage Square –; a longtime entertainment and tourist destination at 18301 W. Colfax Ave.–; in December 2011. Since the purchase, the company has invested about $ 1 million on improvements and infrastructure upgrades, said David Hagerman, Martin Marietta’s regional vice president, in a previous interview. Plans to close the square were announced in February 2015 and by October and November of that year most of the businesses had closed.

The popular Alpine Slide operated for 37 seasons before it closed on Oct. 11 last year. The slide’s former general manager Debbie Hottinger, who retired after the slide closed, reported that a company that operates a slide in Kentucky bought the sleds and track. All of the lift’s chairs were sold to the general public. The rest of the slide is still in the process of being dismantled, Bovis said.

With lease options until 2039, only the Heritage Amusement Park –; which includes the Garden Grill restaurant –; remains in operation at Heritage Square.

As for progress on the total demolition of the square, the project is about 40 percent complete, Bovis said. Martin Marietta is dedicated to following a process that is not the crane-and-wrecking ball procedure some folks imagine, he added.

The former main street –; formerly home to the square’s Victorian village with retail shops and a music hall/opera house –; is about 75 percent finished. Bovis estimates this phase of the demolition will be complete by the end of the year.

“It’s been a time-consuming process,” Bovis said. “But it’s a process that needed to be done.”

Most of the buildings on the main street contained asbestos. So proper methods for disposal and removal of the hazardous materials had to be approved by the state, Bovis said. That process began in late February.

Before it became Heritage Square, the theme park was called Magic Mountain. It was designed by Marco Engineering of Los Angeles –; made up of former Disneyland employees. However, it went bankrupt and was only open from 1957 to Labor Day weekend in 1960, said Bob McLaughlin, author of “Magic Mountain,” a book release in April that recounts the history of the theme park.

Because of the Disney connection and architecture style of the buildings, some local historians advocated to save the facades and storefronts by relocating them. However, no one stepped up to do so during the public period, Bovis said.

Another structure with sentimental value, the wedding chapel, did find a new home at the Moffat Road Railroad Museum in Granby.

The chapel “made its journey,” Bovis said, and “they were ecstatic to receive it.”

When asked about any potential plans, Bovis declined to answer. The “public will get plenty of notice” once things do begin to happen, he said.

Any development plan for the property will go through the City of Golden’s planning and zoning department for approval.

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