The ‘South Park’ Creators Revealed The ‘Infinity Dollars’ Sum They Poured Into ‘Restoring’ Casa Bonita ‘Like A Piece Of Art’

Casa Bonita superfans are growing impatient for the pink palace’s grand reopening, but they should rest assured that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone pulled out all the stops. In other words, get ready for sopapillas.

For this extended trip down memory lane, let’s revisit what Parker and Stone previously revealed about their construction “nightmare” to The Denver Post, which relayed how their initial wish of doing something “cool” transformed into pouring “all our money” into the joint. The iconic fountain needed to be demolished, and there was a whole laundry list of other disastrous developments (like plumbing that oozed cooking grease into water sources) awaiting them. As the pair told the New York Times this week, this included an ultimate bill that was four times what they expected it to be.

It wasn’t quite “infinity dollars,” as Stone joked, but they were urged to put a fork in the project at one point. Yikes:

The original cost of renovations was projected at $10 million. When the figure reached $20 million, business advisers encouraged Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker to pack it in. These days, Mr. Stone said, the investment was closer to “infinity dollars.”

As Mr. Parker put it, “It would be way cheaper if we just went hang gliding over volcanoes.”

So, how much did they spend? “[U]pward of $40 million.” Seriously, they took the long restoration route, and although their pocketbooks must hurt, you gotta admire that devotion:

“It doesn’t stink like chlorine anymore,” Mr. Stone said in an interview in late May, during the final, frantic stretch to reopen. “We could have rebuilt this twice as big, for half as much money, but we spent so much restoring it, like a piece of art.”

Additionally, the duo kept a few dozen existing Casa Bonita employees on the payroll for the duration of the construction while asking them to volunteer their time to Habitat For Humanity and the like. It’s hard to conceive of this happening in any other context, but the good times are about to roll at Casa Bonita. They’re reopening in stages by invitation only before a full-on grand reopening with four new bars. Sure, those taco salads might be a bit pricier than the inedible ones of yesteryear, but they’ll be worth it.

(Via New York Times)