Denver and Elitch Gardens Partner for Youth Marijuana Education Stunt

Published on August 13, 2019

New ‘High Costs’ campaign bus rolls into Elitch Gardens

To cap off the summer season as youth make their way back to school, the City and County of Denver and Elitch GardensTM have partnered to showcase a bus with a new spin in support of the city’s larger High Costs youth marijuana education campaign.

In the 2017-2018 school year, 79% of marijuana violations by Denver Public Schools (DPS) students resulted in suspension or expulsion, and more than 200,000 college students nationwide have been denied financial aid because of a drug arrest or minor drug offense. To illustrate how underage marijuana use can affect youth’s lives longer-term, the campaign will be brought to life with a school bus that looks to be packed with a four-year college tuition’s worth of footballs – 6,395* of them.

“Our partnership with Elitch Gardens further demonstrates Denver’s commitment to educating our youth in an engaging environment, with a message that resonates – losing a scholarship or financial aid due to using marijuana underage can really change someone’s future path,” said Ashley Kilroy, Director of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses and the agency’s Office of Marijuana Policy. “The High Costs bus is a tangible, physical representation of our message and makes the campaign real in the eyes of Denver’s teens. It can be hard to imagine how much a four-year tuition costs, but seeing what 6,395 footballs looks like is something people can connect with.”

The bus will be wrapped with key campaign messaging. Accompanying the bus will be a ball toss game, where teens can receive a mini-football souvenir. Digitally, the effort will be supported on social media with a custom Snapchat filter and social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The display will be live at Elitch Gardens from Friday, August 16 – Sunday, August 18 during park operating hours. Teens can find the bus parked in front of the Half Pipe thrill ride, located in the northwest part of the park. Beginning August 19, the bus will spend seven days parked at the corner of Louisiana and Franklin for teens to view and to further drive the message home.

For discounted tickets to visit the park August 16 – 18 and see the bus, guests can use promo code ‘HIGHCOSTS’ to purchase tickets at and save $30 off standard gate admission. (Enjoy $30 in savings for a full day of fun at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park brought to you by the City and County of Denver’s High Costs campaign. Valid for the 2019 Season. Offer valid for one day only. Children 2 and under are admitted free and do not require a ticket.) Learn more about the High Costs campaign at

*Actual tuition price calculated off of the University of Colorado’s 2018 full-time in-state student base tuition of $63,952 for a four-year degree. Footballs were calculated at a cost of $10 each, totaling 6,395 footballs to make up the cost of the four-year tuition.  

About High Costs

In November 2013, City and County of Denver voters approved a special sales tax on retail marijuana to support the city's marijuana regulation, enforcement and education efforts. The City of Denver has initiated a creative campaign to educate its youth in a creative, effective and positive manner about marijuana. High Costs gives life to statistics and facts in a way that makes them more tangible to this audience. The city employs a multi-prong approach to education and prevention efforts, and this campaign is one part of that overall mission to decrease use among Denver’s youth.

About Elitch Gardens

Located in the heart of Denver and celebrating 129 years of fun, Elitch Gardens is Colorado’s only world-class combination theme and water park. From thrilling roller coasters to pint-sized adventures, a splashin' water park and tons of special events, there's thrills for all. Don’t miss the new Meow Wolf’s Kaleidoscape – the first artist-driven dark ride in the world! The park is open April through October. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.