Red Rocks Infrastructure Improvements
Impacts from the below improvement projects will require intermittent detours around the park roads, as well as reduced access to the amphitheatre, which will be limited to the East Stairs and the North Trail. The Top Plaza will be open for visitors accessing the amphitheatre through the two designated locations.
The Visitor Center will be open on a TBD basis. Unfortunately, due to these projects, wheelchair and other limited mobility access will not be available to the amphitheatre or Visitor Center, but please know these improvements will increase accessibility going forward.
Phase Two of Accessibility Improvement Project
This project includes regrading the ramp from the Top Circle Lot to the Visitor Center, as well as regrading of the ramp from the South Gate to Row 1.
As part of this project, accessible parking in the Upper South Lot will be improved with construction of additional parking spaces and eventually a shelter for those waiting for the accessible shuttle.
Phase Two of Stormwater Management Project
This project occurs on south end of the Upper South Lot and down Ship Rock Road, including road and parking improvements along Trading Post Road between Red Rocks Park Road and the Trading Post. These improvements along Trading Post Road provide improved parking options for visitors and concertgoers alike, with construction of a new pathway leading to the Trading Post.
Completion of Phase One of Visitor Center Enhancements
This part of the project includes finishing the renovation of the dining room for Shop Rock Grille, as well as completing the remodel of the north end restrooms.
South Ramp Replacement
The South Ramp, which provides access to the amphitheatre from the south parking lots, was originally completed in the late 1940s. Although not part of the original Civilian Conservation Corps construction of Red Rocks, the original structure has a light impact on the natural surroundings with a design that fits into the overall design aesthetic of the amphitheatre.
Given the age of the structures (the ramp consists of two bridge structures as well as an on-grade path), a structural analysis was conducted to assess if there were any issues with the structures.
While no imminent issues were discovered, the structural analysis did reveal that the structures are nearing the end of their useful life expectancy as well as design deficiencies. The best option moving forward is to replace the structures with a new South Ramp that will serve the venue for years to come.
The new South Ramp will be constructed between November 2022 and April 2023 with a design that respects the original structures’ aesthetic while meeting modern structural standards.
This project will modify slopes on the Top Plaza and row one in the amphitheatre for increased wheelchair accessibility.
Visitor Center Enhancements
This first phase of a multi-phase project focuses on the renovation of the Ship Rock Grille and Kitchen and the rebuild of the north restrooms. The restaurant will be reconfigured to make the bar more visible and inviting. The kitchen will be electrified with an improved layout. The restrooms will be updated with the addition of a family restroom and improved accessibility.
Stage Roof Replacement
A stage roof replacement project has been completed at Red Rocks, as the existing 1988 stage roof served its life expectancy. The new design aligns with updated event performance standards and includes upgraded load capacity and safety features to meet production and safety demands.
Careful considerations were taken with the schematic design to minimize disturbance to existing features. The overall concept provides the venue with a more efficient and suitable roof structure while keeping the integrity of the amphitheatre intact. Some fun facts about the new stage roof:
- The new roof can hold the weight of 15 elephants, or approximately 150,000 lbs.
- The roofing is made from pre-patinaed copper
- The ceiling is made of clear, vertical grained Douglas fir
- The number of columns has been reduced from 10 to 4 when comparing the old roof to the new roof
- There are 84 rolling spanner beams used to hang sound and lights
- The shape of the roof is inspired by the organic nature of the amphitheatre, with downstage structural components being faceted straight lines that appear to curve
- Materials were inspired by the historic North and South Towers that flank each side of the stage
Subsurface Seating Stabilization
This project stabilized and fixed this area of the amphitheatre that was built on less stable fill and had settled over the past 78 years. The area was carefully dismantled and a new subsurface structure was installed. The concrete, stone and benches were returned to the same layout as the original design. The project was completed in early April 2019.
North Storm Water Channel Rehabilitation
The north storm water channel along the outer North Stairs was rehabilitated between December 2019 and February 2019 to repair existing flagstone and to add stone where it was previously missing. A stone retaining wall was added as part of the project to help mitigate erosion at the top of the drainage channel. The channel was completed in February 2019.
Trading Post Updates and Remodeling
The Red Rocks Trading Post was designed by W.R. Rosche and built in 1931, predating the amphitheatre by about 10 years. Over time, the structure has received updated including updated restrooms, landscaping and other repairs.
Between 2018-2019, the following repairs were made:
- Window restoration with new storm windows for better building efficiency
- Updated HVAC for better summertime comfort
- New roofing with improved insulation
- Exterior stucco repairs with a focus on the parapet wall
- The installation of a new storefront main door, providing more interior daylight and great views
- Updated the accessible restroom on the main level
- Restoration of the interior stained glass skylight
- The installation of a bell into the Bell Tower on April 9, 2019. This operable bell helps restore the facade to its original appearance while adding some fun by ringing every hour on the hour or for special occasions
Visitor Center Service Road Retaining Wall Update
When the Visitor Center service road was constructed in 2012, the retaining wall had its stone veneer value engineered out of the project. However the structure needed to add the stone later was kept in place. During the winter of 2018-2019, the wall was finally dressed in its rightful strip flagstone, sourced from Lyons, CO, to properly connect it with the amphitheatre. Be sure to enjoy the view of this wall from the Top Circle lot or ramp to the top of the amphitheatre.
Red Rocks Depot
The Upper North lot is now fully open! Construction has concluded on the Red Rocks Depot, located in the Upper North lot at Red Rocks. The Depot was built into the hillside to minimize its impact, and is home to our waste management operations and provides space for several of our facility operations. The building also contains public restroom facilities that will serve both visitors and concertgoers.
Some of the architectural elements that went into the unique design aesthetic of The Depot that allow the facility to blend in with and pay homage to the park and amphitheatre include:
- Board from concrete exterior walls (relating to the technique used for forming the concrete in the backstage area of the amphitheatre).
- COR-TEN Weathering Steel garage doors and accents.
- Smooth sandstone blocks on the exterior/interior of the restroom (a different take on the Lyons sandstone used in the amphitheatre).
- A green roof using native grasses and vegetation.
- The building opened in April 2019 and is in full operation.
Enhanced Road, Lot and Trail lighting:
New for 2019 is the addition of road lighting along Red Rocks Trail Road, portions of Red Rocks Park Road and portions of Trading Post Road. The lighting in the Upper South lot has also been replaced. The Funicular Trail and Will Call Trail are also receiving new lighting. All new lighting is energy-efficient LED and is intended to provide a safer environment for drivers and pedestrians using these areas.