Casa Bonita Renovation: Photos and Documents Reveal $12 Million Plan

Photos obtained by 9NEWS reveal Casa Bonita as never seen before – areas emptied as work began to make it more accessible and modern.

LAKEWOOD, Colo – As the creators of “South Park” pour millions into Casa Bonita – the iconic, nostalgic restaurant known for its cliff divers, lagoon and sopapillas – 9NEWS has reviewed hundreds of pages of plans, permits and pictures that show how much expensive work is done inside and out.

The documents were obtained through an open records request to the Town of Lakewood.

> The above video was posted in August 2021, when the creators of “South Park” announced that they were buying Casa Bonita.

Westword was the first news outlet to report that ‘South Park’ creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were buying the restaurant for $3.1 million, but these documents reveal the new owners are spending at least four times as much on them. renovations and improvements.

“The total cost of principal space alterations, as applicable to this layout, is approximately $12,125,000,” a response from the project contractor to the Town of Lakewood reads in the documents.

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For the most part, plans indicate that Casa Bonita’s signature elements, such as the plunge pool, Black Bart’s cave, and rest areas, will undergo repairs and upgrades to match the restaurant’s original vibe.

Still, the kitchen and bathrooms are undergoing extensive renovations while audio and visual elements are upgraded, such as new projectors, speakers, lighting and security cameras throughout the restaurant.

A large and costly goal of the renovation is the creation of accessibility ramps to make the restaurant more ADA compliant, a new vertical platform lift, and to make more room for “increased accessible seating.”

“General improvements to the existing Casa Bonita restaurant, including improvements to: life safety systems, accessibility, HVAC systems, air quality, electrical system, plumbing system and finishes,” reads a general description of the plan. “Accessibility routes will be improved throughout, including a new platform lift and plenty of ADA ramps.”

The plans also show that the contractor has applied for a permit to remove approximately 700 square feet of tile containing asbestos.

Plunge pool and outdoor fountain

A permit states that a “complete renovation of indoor pools and water features and outdoor water features” will cost $210,000.00.

Blueprints and plans reveal that the dive pool will be undergoing a refurbishment with new connections. The pool, which is 13½ feet deep and holds 48,000 gallons of water, will offer new stages for divers that match the artificial rock on its edge.

The plans also reveal a new fountain out front with LED lighting.

Sound system, lighting, projectors, security cameras

Plans also say audio and visual upgrades will cost $1.3 million, which includes a new sound system throughout the restaurant and a security camera system.

What does he look like now?

While it’s unclear what it looks like inside today, photos obtained by 9NEWS through the documents reveal that the restaurant was gutted in many areas when work began in 2021.

A report from an asbestos inspection company contained dozens of images showing the restaurant as people had never seen it before – from the poolside areas to the iconic games room empty of tables and games.

Photos also show cracked floors in need of repairs and gutted kitchens.

When will Casa Bonita open?

In a recent interview with The Denver Post, Stone and Parker compared the project to the show “Kitchen Nightmares” and didn’t give an opening date.

While the restaurant was slated to open this summer, the owners hinted to the Denver Post that there was still a lot of work to do and an opening date could not yet be set.

“Oh, this is what we need to put all our money into and hope it works out,” Trey Parker quoted in the Post article.

9NEWS reached out to reps for Stone and Parker for this story, but did not receive a response.

If you have any information related to this story or would like to send a news tip, you can contact jeremy@9news.com

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