Greg Books wants to strap you into a giant plastic bubble – think hamster – and then push you down a 350-foot slope adjacent to Interstate 70.
When you’ve had enough of that activity, and the other adventures at his recently opened Lawson Adventure Park, he hopes you’ll stay for dinner. And rest up on the property at one of his yurts or cabins.
“It is a true outdoor adventure park,” Books said. “We’re separating ourselves from the resorts down the corridor and from Elitch’s and Water World.”
Books this month opened Lawson Adventure Park in Lawson, which sits between Idaho Springs and Georgetown.
Activities offered in the park include rock climbing, ZORBing (the activity that involves rolling down a hill in a giant orb), an eight-element challenge course, and a nine-hole Frisbee golf course through the woods.
A day pass to the park costs $149.
Many of Lawson Adventure Park’s amusements came from Heritage Square, which closed in Golden last year. Books said he called when he heard of the park closing and purchased their equipment: a bungee trampoline, a climbing wall, the miners maze, a gyroscope, a shooting gallery, a barrel roll, a mechanical bull and more.
Books said that there will be activities that change throughout the season. In the winter, snow shoeing and tubing are planned.
There are currently 15 employees who work on the park grounds. Over the first year, Books projects that there will be about 70 park visitors a day. By 2017, Books said he wants to see an average of 120 people a day. The park has a capacity of 500 people.
Planning started eight years ago when the Bureau of Land Management opened a little park in the area. In 2010, Books put together his own rafting and a zip line across the street in a two-acre lot. Books said that the multi-sport activity was successful enough for he and eight investors to start acquiring land in the area. After purchasing 10 parcels of land, the park is 42 acres.
“We identified that a lot more people over the last 10 to 15 years have chosen to recreate closer to the Front Range,” Books said. “People no longer want to commit to driving across state for their vacation if they can do something closer.”
The eight cabins designed to house either one or two families, five yurts that hold up to six people, several camp grounds and two condos will be completed by early October.
“We can sleep quite a few folks on the property and we have a variety of levels, most of which is pretty upscale,” Books said.