Bong slide! Our top five ideas for Aurora's Gaylord Rockies Hotel water park
Last week, the Houston-based company that plans to develop an 85-acre, 1,500-room hotel and convention center in Aurora, near Denver International Airport, revealed that it would like to add a gigantic, $25 million indoor-outdoor water park to the project.
Big photos below.
RIDA Development Corporation, which took the project over from Gaylord Entertainment in March 2013, said the park would include several pools, two water slides, a lazy river and simulated hot springs.
But we've got some better ideas.
Of course, the plan could be all wet: Although the state has offered to help RIDA out with $81.4 million in incentives, a group of Denver hoteliers has challenged that award and is suing the state agency that agreed to give them. They're also concerned that the water park would only be open to hotel guests and not the state's taxpayers.
With that in mind, here are our top five for themes and rides at the water park that could be used to draw not just hotel guests, but locals, too.
The National Western Stock Show & Dolphin Rodeo
Back in 2011, before RIDA took over the Gaylord, the Stock Show and Aurora investigated the very real possibility of moving the yards and the events next door to the project. That didn't pan out (or hasn't yet, anyway), but that doesn't mean the Stock Show couldn't get some traction by lending its name to the water park, specifically as part of a dolphin rodeo. This enclosed aquarium-like environment would replicate the conditions of Florida and Hawaii, which already have attractions where kids can swim with the dolphins, but add an additional rodeo-like element. You've heard of mutton bustin', where kids ride lambs until they fall off? At the Dolphin Rodeo, the young ones can mount up these water mammals and see who can hold on the longest. Git along!
Pit Bull Swimming Park
Denver typically opens up its recreational swimming pools to dogs and their owners on the last day of summer hours each year, but Aurora could outdo its big brother, not just by asking RIDA to create a water park for dogs all summer long, but to design it specifically for pit bulls. But isn't that breed banned in Aurora? Yes, for now, but the city council is currently considering a repeal on the eight-year ban -- and what better way to welcome back the breed?
Continue to keep counting down our top five ideas for Aurora's Gaylord Rockies Hotel water park.