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Tourist Trap Worth the Trip: Casa Bonita

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Casa Bonita is worth a trip.

Hear me out.

Everything you’ve heard about Casa Bonita is true. The scattered Christmas lights, scrunched tables and outrageous prices hint at a different era of “family” entertainment. The cliff diving is about as impressive as a cannonball off a diving board, and the staff’s skits rely on toddler humor. Even the food rumors are true: the nacho salad I ate there once was comprised of hot lettuce with unmelted cheese. I, however, have two arguments for a Casa Bonita trip.

The Experience: Even with the bad food and misguided showmanship, there’s nowhere quite like it. As far as Colorado-uniqueness goes, Casa Bonita is right up there with a Red Rocks concert and a trip to the dispensary. Out-of-towners will likely be astounded that such a place exists, and isn’t just a fabrication from a South Park episode.

The Kids: For the price of dinner with free sopapillas, kids are in paradise on this venture down West Colfax. I took my friend’s four-year-old niece. She laughed at the shows, was scared by the mysterious cave monster, and attempted to master her hand-eye coordination at the arcade. She was even able to trade in tickets for a number of noisemaking machines that haunted me for the entire car ride home. At the end of the day, for her, Casa Bonita was just like Disneyland.

Price: One entrée per person

Tip: Consider trying out Casa Bonita during the week for lunch or dinner. Crowds flock to the pink building on weekends.

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