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Colorado Auto Hail Pros

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Colorado Auto Hail Pros is a locally owned Colorado company with a state of art repair facility, specializing in automotive hail damage utilizing our expertise in Paintless Dent Repair (PDR). With ... Read more

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Fort Collins Chiropractor - Chiropractic Doctor

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Choosing who to trust with your care and achieving the desired results is a daunting decision. Advanced Healthcare is a trusted local Chiropractor with over 30 years of experience in Chiropractic ... Read more

Heritage Square – A Little Piece of Colorado History

Heritage Square – A Little Piece of Colorado History

 

At the foot of the mountains along Route 40 just southwest of Golden, Colorado sits the entrance to Heritage Square, an aging Storybook Victorian entertainment village with a lot of history and a lot to offer. 

 

Heratige Square Alpine SlideHistory of Heritage Square

The history of Heritage Square goes back to the late 1950s when 600 acres were purchased at the foot of the mountains at Apex Gulch, where the complex still resides today.  The original concept for the site was to develop a theme park called Magic Mountain and have it based upon Colorado History.  Men who worked on the design of Disneyland also worked on the design of Magic Mountain.  Unfortunately, the gigantic vision for the Magic Mountain theme park was only partially brought to life before the investment money ran out, but it did include one of the first ski areas operated with artificial snow in North America.  In 1960, Magic Mountain closed down and the park sat empty until 1970 when it was purchased by Woodman Corporation and reborn as the Heritage Square that we know today.  

 

Heritage Square Storybook Architecture

Heritage Square is one of world’s best-preserved examples of what is known as Storybook design and architecture: an old-school style that came from the screen and stage arts.  The buildings that line the manmade streets of Heritage Square look like screen buildings that have been translated to real life with lots of embellishments and whimsical distortions that force the eye to think that the buildings are larger then they really are.  However, the buildings are in fact only 2/3 the scale of their historic counterparts, which are located in downtown Golden.  The architecture at Heritage Square is really quite unique and gives the grounds an atmosphere of old-world charm.  Just strolling around the grounds and viewing all of the buildings is entertainment in itself.   

 

Attractions and Services at Heritage Square

The present day Heritage Square is most famous for two things: The alpine slide and the Heritage Square Music Hall, but offers many more attractions and services.

 

Built in the mid 1970s, the alpine slide at Heritage Square just happens to be one of only two located outside of a ski resort in North America.  As a child who grew up in the Denver suburbs during the early 1980s, my parents often took my sister and I to Heritage Square so we could race down the famous alpine slide.  Fortunately, the slide is still in operation so a few years ago my sister and I headed up to Heritage Square and rode the slide for old times sake. If you have a since of adventure, but have never taken the time to zoom down the concrete track, it is something that you really should experience.  It is also a great place to take your out-of-town guests for some traditional Colorado fun. 

 

Rides at Heritage SquareAs an adult, my journey in life had lead to experiences at Heritage Square that reach beyond the outdoor attractions. Each December one of my former employers held the annual company Christmas party at the Heritage Square Music Hall.  The Christmas plays I saw there were beyond entertaining and hosted some of the funniest scripts and top notch acting I have yet to see.  It’s no wonder that the Heritage Square Music Hall remains one of the most popular dinner theater establishments in Colorado.  Plus, the Christmas music sing-a-long that follows the evening performance is always a special way to celebrate the Christmas season.  The music hall offers performances year-round, so check out their website for current information, prices, and times.  

 

Besides the famous alpine slide and music hall, Heritage Square has many more attractions for the entire family to enjoy.  They include: a collection of fun and unique artisan shops, an amusement park, a carousel, go-cart tracks for both adults and children, a giant maze, and The Rio Grand Railroad. 

 

On my last visit to Heritage Square, I noticed there was one of those old west photo shops at the park called Professor Goodbellows Portrait Studio. You know, the kind where you can dress up in turn-of-the century western gear and have your photo taken while pretending to be an outlaw or Madame.  I’ve never done that before, but I’m thinking of going back someday with my boyfriend.  

 

Beyond the shops and entertainment, Heritage Square is also home to the following services: Red Rocks Church, Rising Star Productions, and The Wedding Bell Chapel where you can get married in a historic Lakewood schoolhouse that was transferred to the site and converted into a sweet little chapel. 

 

Admission and parking at Heritage Square is always free, and the complex is open year-round.  Be sure to check out their website for operating times because they do change with the seasons.  

 

The Future of Heritage Square

Considering that Heritage Square just celebrated its 40th anniversary this past summer, it is truly a part of Colorado history, but even with all of the fun and unique attractions, the fate of Heritage Square is still rocky.  Lafarge, which also owns and operates the quarry next to the complex, currently owns Heritage Square and uses it as both a tax write off and a sound buffer to the City of Golden.  Because it costs Lafarge more to operate Heritage Square than it profits, once the quarry is stripped in approximately the next decade or two, the fate of Heritage Square might be fatal.

 

As a Colorado Native and resident of Jefferson County, it saddens me to think that Heritage Square may not exist someday, so if you are looking for a fun way to spend a sunny Colorado afternoon, head up to Heritage Square and experience all that is still has to offer.  Lets keep this historical site in business!  

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