Those of you who have been visiting Kings Dominion since you were a child, what is one structure that remains steady to this day? For most people, an image of the Eiffel Tower comes to mind. One of the park's original and signature attractions, the Eiffel Tower stands 315 feet and is a one-third replica of the original Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
When you walk into the park on Opening Day, you might notice a certain glow surrounding the Tower. That’s because this off-season, the Tower and the surrounding area has gotten an upgrade! With this being one of the most memorable features of the park, we knew it was time to brighten the space- literally.
While we’re working on this project, the iconic fountain as you walk in will be closed for painting on Passholder Preview Day (March 24), but will be back and as beautiful as ever for Opening Day, March 30! As much as we’d like to have it ready for Opening Day, the Tower will also be closed during the refurbishment and will reopen in May for more breathtaking views from the top.
Starting in January and rolling into the 2019 season, the Eiffel Tower has been getting cleaned, primed, and painted for a refreshed look! Along with the Tower, the surrounding black top is no more- we’re bringing in pavers to replace the asphalt on the walkway surface.
Pavers entered the park on January 15, which initiated the start of the Tower renovation. Prior to that, we worked with our corporate Planning & Designing team to determine what type of hardscape would be best to replace the asphalt surrounding the Tower. Once we selected a specific hardscape for the walkways and border, it was time to get to work!
Plans were made to remove over 50,000 sq. ft. of asphalt from the Tower and International Street walkways. After that, 1,500 tons of gravel were brought in, along with 300 tons of sand to prepare for the pavers. All in all, we ended up installing 147,000 pavers with 15 people working on this portion of the project.
While we were ripping up ground surrounding the Eiffel Tower, we also began work on the Tower itself. Starting mid- January, the Tower was prepped for painting by using pressure machines to completely clean the structure. With the Eiffel Tower standing at 315 feet - that’s a lot of ground to cover!
Once the Tower was squeaky clean, approximately 350 gallons of Epoxy Primer were applied to all the areas that specifically needed it. Then came the fun part- painting! Using 45,000 gallons of paint- yes you read that correctly- 14 crew members got to work giving the Tower it’s much needed refresh, ending with 1,000 gallons of finish coat for extra shine. It had been about 15 years since it’s last paint job - it was time for an upgrade!
So why the updates? As part of our continued program to update our hardscape infrastructure walkways, we knew it was time to make the space around the Tower more appealing for our guests. In addition, all our attractions are on schedule to be painted as part of upkeep- it just so happens to be the Eiffel Tower’s turn! We are also preparing the structure for a special surprise for our guests to come in 2019... don’t worry, you will find out soon...
While you are waiting for Opening Day to arrive, we were able to grab footage of the Tower renovation project in progress! Check it out below to get a behind-the-scenes look at what went into this massive project. Also, be sure to stay tuned to our blog for more park announcements regarding the 2019 season- we have a feeling you’ll be excited for what’s to come!