There's nothing nefarious about the hundreds of new SUVs parked at the Pirates Cove water park in Englewood, according to the John Elway Chevrolet dealership. Local social media pages lit up with …
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There's nothing nefarious about the hundreds of new SUVs parked at the Pirates Cove water park in Englewood, according to the John Elway Chevrolet dealership.
Local social media pages lit up with concerns in recent days about the rows of 2020 Chevrolet Tahoes lined up in the parking lot on Belleview Avenue, with some residents saying they fear the vehicles are a mobilization for a forthcoming declaration of martial law in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reality is far more mundane, said Mark McMunn, the head of government contracts for John Elway Chevrolet.
The nearly 300 vehicles, some outfitted with lights and other equipment for police work, are part of a mass order the dealership placed in September 2019 for numerous public agencies around the state, McMunn said. The dealership arranged with the City of Englewood to use the Pirates Cove parking lot because there's not enough space for all the cars at the nearby Elway Chevrolet, and the water park is unused this time of year.
“I've got ongoing contracts to procure police vehicles for Denver, Littleton, Englewood and lots of other agencies,” McMunn said. “El Paso County Sheriff just came to pick up three of the ones you see out there.”
Numerous state agencies placed early orders for replacement Tahoes last year, McMunn said, because Chevrolet is planning to overhaul the 2021 models, meaning they will be delivered late.
The parking lot rental arrangement is nothing new, said City of Englewood spokesman Chris Harguth.
"The city is obviously concerned anytime potentially harmful rumors percolate, especially during a time of unprecedented crisis," Harguth said in an email. "The automobiles at Pirates Cove are there due to a temporary lease agreement with John Elway Chevrolet for storage of surplus vehicles. They will be moved prior to the reopening of Pirates Cove Water Park. The agreement has been executed annually for some time. There is absolutely no connection to COVID-19. The city encourages anyone with questions or concerns to please reach out directly to the city at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to get you answers."
McMunn said he realizes the sight of the cars makes people nervous, but said it's pretty normal business.
“People are flipping out,” McMunn said. “There's people over there all day taking pictures of the cars and looking in the windows ... these are strange times.”
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