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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread


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I'm not the least bit surprised by this as it was clearly inevitable that CGA was never really in the "master plan" for Cedar Fair's long term growth. And I'm curious if this will have effect on Gilroy Gardens, or if that's completely separate from CGA now? This is an interesting article that says the 49ers owners are part of the financers with JMA Ventures and a little bit more about the company. I wouldn't say bye bye Great America, but I might be saying hello to 49ers land!

 

A San Francisco real estate firm and the owners of the 49ers are buying the Great America theme park for $70 million in a deal that will end the park's lawsuit against the city of Santa Clara.

 

Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews told this newspaper that the York family -- owners of the 49ers -- is investing in the purchase with JMA Ventures. He said he didn't know the amount of the York's investment.

 

The team did not immediately have a comment about the York's partnership in the deal. .

 

A news release from JMA said an "entity" connected with the 49ers has been working with the company and "is expected to partner" with JMA in the purchase.

 

"The acquisition will position the park for future long-term growth and clears the way for the new stadium project to move forward, " JMA said in the release.

 

Santa Clara owns the Great America theme park property and leases it for $5 million a year to Cedar Fair, which bought the park in 2006 and has had a contentious relationship with the city over parking and other issues related to the future stadium, which would be built next-door to the amusement park. The council must approve the purchase, but no date has been set for an action. Matthews also hinted the city may consider increasing the rent.

 

Cedar Fair, based in Sandusky, Ohio, expects to use the cash proceeds from this sale to reduce its senior secured debt, according to a statement.

 

JMA could begin operating the park in the final three months of the year. The company says it will retain all employees and continue their benefits.

 

 

JMA says the sale will erase the need for a lawsuit against the city, which Cedar Fair had filed over a myriad of reasons, including the loss of parking.

 

In a statement, JMA CEO Todd Chapman said: "JMA was never a part of the lawsuit, so I do not believe it is appropriate for us to comment on it. However, we do support the new stadium and will not maintain the litigation against the project."

 

Cedar Fair also did not support the citywide measure to build the stadium.

 

As far back as 2009, Cedar Fair was also looking for buyers; until the deal fell through, they were considering selling its amusement empire to Apollo Global Management for $2.5 billion.

 

JMA may be best known for its properties including: Alpine Meadows, Homewood Mountain Ski Resort and West Shore Café and Inn in the Lake Tahoe area, Fairmont Heritage Place at Ghirardelli Square, and Waterbar and EPIC Roasthouse restaurants on San Francisco's revitalized Embarcadero waterfront.

 

Matthews called the deal "amazing" and "great news" for the park and the city.

 

For its part, Cedar Fair executives said in their own statement that the sale was done with mixed emotions.

 

"Our decision to divest of our California's Great America park was not an easy one," said Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair's chief executive officer. "This is a quality park that has terrific employees and serves a strong market.''

 

That said, Kinzell added, that as executives reviewed their "portfolio of parks," they determined that "divesting a smaller park'' like Great America "created compelling business opportunity that we couldn't pass up.''

Edited by RCFreak
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WOW this is big news...but check out the other big news: Season 5 of Shane's Amusement Attic.

 

Here is a sneak peek at just one of the exclusives we have for you this year. Speaking of a new Entertainment District, here is a look at the old proposed Great American "Front Gate" Entertainment project. At one point this park really had some potential.

gate1.thumb.jpg.40ce43e749d4bf01f0ea8329c5b56ef1.jpg

gate3.thumb.jpg.ae8cb006982e40c5f277a64e72c572fb.jpg

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It was only a matter of time that this happened, though I pretty much expected Cedar Fair to take out a few more rides for its other parks first. Looks like there will be a bunch of coasters and other rides for Six Flags and other parks to buy up cheap within the next couple of years!

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$70 million just seems to cheap to not demolish the park and build something bigger/more profitable. It might not be immediate, but I can see JMA eventually putting the final nail in CGA's coffin.

 

From what I've heard about Flight Deck, I'm kind of bummed I've never been there to ride it.

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I'm not the least bit surprised by this as it was clearly inevitable that CGA was never really in the "master plan" for Cedar Fair's long term growth. And I'm curious if this will have effect on Gilroy Gardens, or if that's completely separate from CGA now? This is an interesting article that says the 49ers owners are part of the financers with JMA Ventures and a little bit more about the company. I wouldn't say bye bye Great America, but I might be saying hello to 49ers land!

 

See, this is the kind of thing I was interested in. Thanks Hector! If JMA is even just SLIGHTLY in bed with the 49ers, then it's pretty obvious what's going to happen.

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I have an interesting quandry it seems. I'm flying into San Jose next Sunday 9/25 for the week, leaving Friday, and CGA is open until 7pm that Sunday. My hotel is about 2 miles from CGAa and I'll likely have 2 hours in the park. Never been but I'm a CF platinum pass holder so its a no brainer to fit in some rides. I assume the B&M Invert is a must-rides but any others, given the likelihood that I'll never get the chance again?

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I have an interesting quandry it seems. I'm flying into San Jose next Sunday 9/25 for the week, leaving Friday, and CGA is open until 7pm that Sunday. My hotel is about 2 miles from CGAa and I'll likely have 2 hours in the park. Never been but I'm a CF platinum pass holder so its a no brainer to fit in some rides. I assume the B&M Invert is a must-rides but any others, given the likelihood that I'll never get the chance again?

 

Flight deck is one of the most underrated coasters in my opinion. I'm working this weekend

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I'm a big 49ers fan, and grew up at CGA so it's too bad that it had to happen this way, but not surprising. It will be very interesting what ends up happening with the area and the rides. I would much rather have CGA than the niners stadium (too expensive to go to a game). Guess I will have to make one final trip.

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Stop being so negative!

 

“Great America is an excellent addition to our portfolio of hospitality and entertainment properties,” said Todd Chapman, CEO of JMA Ventures. “Great America is one of California’s most popular family attractions and we look forward to preserving its unique appeal while at the same time bringing new ideas and energy to the park – particularly in developing the exciting synergies that will emerge between the new stadium and Great America.”

 

The City of Santa Clara, which owns the land Great America is built on, must still approve the sale. If approved, JMA is expected to begin operating the park by the end of the year.

 

“This is great news for Santa Clara and for Great America,” said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews in a statement. “The amusement park has been an important part of our city for many years and with the addition of the stadium and other development proposals that are coming forward, we are excited about creating a premier family entertainment destination for Northern California.”

 

KCBS Insider Phil Matier said the move is not a big surprise.

 

“It’s one of the big pieces in that puzzle down there. Santa Clara said that we want the 49ers, but we also want Great America,” Matier said. “Great America felt left out of the deal. There were a lot of legal threats going back and forth, especially over parking lots and who would have rights to them. This way, the 49ers can take over the whole show.”

 

 

with that being said, NO you cannot have Flight Deck.

Edited by Nibbler
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