Denver's Wash Park changes alcohol, permit rules

DENVER - Visitors to Denver's Wash Park this holiday weekend will see changes if they want to play on the courts or drink alcohol.

After public debate over whether to ban alcohol, city council compromised and will only allow 3.2 beer.

Signs went up earlier this month telling visitors, in a humorous way, about the policy.

One sign reads, "If drinking beer were an Olympic competition, we'd be the East German judge... 3.2 percent only, please no glass."

Another sign says, "The optimist says the glass is half full. The Pessimist says the glass is half empty. We say glass is not allowed in the park at all. Please fill your cups with 3.2 beer only."

Visitors wanting to play volleyball, and other multi-person organized activities, will need a drop-in permit on weekends and holidays.

There's a $30 refundable deposit for a 3-hour permit.

The changes came after a public hearing. The mayor's office and Denver Parks and Recreation announced that the city would pursue rules to "improve the overall experience for visitors and residents alike."

The changes include:

  • The drop-in permit system for volleyball and other multi-person organized activities on weekends and holidays.
  • Increasing the servicing of existing portable bathrooms and make plumbed bathrooms available for additional hours, including after-hours for Washington Park Recreation Center bathrooms.
  • Directing park visitors to the availability of free parking in the South High School parking lot.
  • Increasing right-of-way enforcement in the adjacent neighborhoods to ticket vehicles illegally parked in driveways or in handicapped spaces.
  • Increased enforcement of alcohol violations, with less tolerance and issue more citations for violations.
  • Increased Park Ranger patrol, including two full-time rangers in Washington Park on weekends.
  • Deploying DPD Mounted Patrol on high-traffic weekend days and holidays; ramping up DPD general enforcement for the park area on all weekends and holidays.
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