The Garden of the Gods Park, a designated National Natural Landmark with its incredible natural splendor attracts visitors from around the world. Visitation in the recent years has been estimated at four million visitors annually. With the significant numbers of visitors in the park, it has become increasingly evident that the existing restroom facilities were inadequate and beyond capacity. The City of Colorado Springs retained RTA to guide the restroom facility improvement plan to address the increased demand while enhancing the park visitor experience.
In a fully integrated effort with the sub-consultant team, feedback was collected and analyzed. Numerous meetings were held with maintenance and operations staff, authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs), stakeholders, and the community. Through this critical planning process, increased sustainability, accessibility, and security as well as a design that blended with the surrounding landscape were identified as the primary goals of the project. After presenting several options for each restroom location, the multi-phase improvement plan identified the replacement of the North Main restroom as the primary need.
The new North Main restroom is tucked in to the natural landscape with year-round insulated facilities that are naturally ventilated and fully ADA accessible. Key features include interpretative elements, bottle filling stations, and drinking fountains. The North Main restroom also includes a rooftop observation deck, allowing visitors an incredible view of the iconic Kissing Camels formation. It also increases capacity of lavatories – 1 family/unisex restroom, 5 men’ room lavatories, and 7 women’s lavatories - over the original building which contained only 2 men’s and 2 women’s lavatories.