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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread


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Sorry to be a cynic, but If Cedar Fair had a hard enough time making this park profitable, what would lead people to believe that JMA is going to do anything differently? Could they do a better job to persuade the city? Perhaps. But I don't think "Amusement Park" is in Great America's future. "Entertainmet Complex"? Yes but anything outside of that, I'd have to be skeptical about. Running an amusement park takes a lot of money, more money than Cedar Fair wanted to spend in relation to what they were bringing in. I don't see a company that isn't tradionally in the business of running an amusemnet park to walk in a run a pretty big one with no experience in running one before.

 

How can something be profitable if you remove popular attractions from it and never replace or install anything new?

 

I'm kind of glad this happened because now I can say 'F-U CF!' Now, with local owners this park can really be concentrated on and will have a better chance to thrive and receive new attractions.

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Exactly. And I'm not sure why people are surprised Cedar Fair didn't relocate more rides before selling. They wanted to put an attractive offer out there, with the option to continue to run it as a competitive business. That wouldn't happen if you cleaned the place out.

 

True,but in a weak economy CF would do well to get some rides that are cheap to redistribute among the remaining 9 amusement parks in the chain(GL doesn't count of course) as a few flats,the two B&M's & perhaps the mouse coasters are worth relocating....everything else is either too old or just complete crap to consider moving to another CF park.

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According to the latest statement from JMA Developments, they will continue to operate and improve the park...they seem to think building a stadium that will share the parking lot for approximately 14 days a year isn't going to be an impediment, and word is they also want to acquire the vacant lots around both facilities for expansion. As for the naysayers, perhaps a theme park can survive-if it's locally owned and operated, and not ignored by owners from a long distance away.

 

 

Well that is jow Premiere parks got it's start after all when they purchased Frontier city & Wild world back in the early 90's.

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My gut feeling is that there is a slim chance the park will be saved, but I'm not going to count on it at this point. Though the website for the new company doesn't seem (I didn't look beyond the homepage) to be touting it's latest purchase. But who knows, I've been wrong before. And I'd LIKE to be wrong this time. I just can't shake that uneasy feeling.

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Nothing is being touted yet because it still has to go through city approval first...It would be like touting that you got a new job when you only had an interview. We should expect to see some more info at the close of the 4th quarter as far as finalization goes.

 

I do admit, JMA's site doesn't look very theme park-ish. Being a graphic artist, I am curious how the park branding is going to go when the park opens for 2012, as well as their site design...(Something I personally would not mind getting into, designing park brochures, etc, etc...)

 

Also, looks like Gilroy Gardens is also part of the deal according to this:

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2011/09/19/cedar-fair-says-gilroy-gardens-part.html

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Just to throw it out there, I have been to two of their ski resorts and they appeared to be kept up pretty well. From the looks of it, they HAVE invested quite a bit into these two resorts so I don't see why they would feel any different about a theme park. In addition, unlike many ski areas, these two lacked the posh shopping villages that appear at the bases of many other ski resorts these days so they appear dedicated to the core product that a property offers. If they can run a theme park as well as a ski area then this place in in good hands. After visiting the park last year and experiencing its current state, I am very happy about this news.

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I've been scouring the internet to read different news articles (most are just copy and paste) but did find this line of text interesting:

 

JMA could begin operating the park in the final three months of the year, although, as a real estate company, the outfit could retain an experienced park operator, including Cedar Fair, to continue running Great America. The company, perhaps best known for its Lake Tahoe resorts such as Alpine Meadows and Homewood, says it will keep all of Great America's current employees.

If I'm seeing this right, it looks like Cedar Fair could still have some influences on this. I could be 100% wrong though. I would honestly like to read what JMA says in terms of plans and their acquiring of CGA.

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Just to throw it out there, I have been to two of their ski resorts and they appeared to be kept up pretty well. From the looks of it, they HAVE invested quite a bit into these two resorts so I don't see why they would feel any different about a theme park. In addition, unlike many ski areas, these two lacked the posh shopping villages that appear at the bases of many other ski resorts these days so they appear dedicated to the core product that a property offers. If they can run a theme park as well as a ski area then this place in in good hands. After visiting the park last year and experiencing its current state, I am very happy about this news.

 

Maybe so, but this is CGA, not that they cant go a good job, but Great America and a ski resort are kinda different from each other, its like Apple making a video game console, OH WAIT they did, and we all now what happened there

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Just to throw it out there, I have been to two of their ski resorts and they appeared to be kept up pretty well. From the looks of it, they HAVE invested quite a bit into these two resorts so I don't see why they would feel any different about a theme park. In addition, unlike many ski areas, these two lacked the posh shopping villages that appear at the bases of many other ski resorts these days so they appear dedicated to the core product that a property offers. If they can run a theme park as well as a ski area then this place in in good hands. After visiting the park last year and experiencing its current state, I am very happy about this news.

 

Maybe so, but this is CGA, not that they cant go a good job, but Great America and a ski resort are kinda different from each other, its like Apple making a video game console, OH WAIT they did, and we all now what happened there

 

Perhaps, but I need to feel positive about something tonight. Maybe I'll change it from they will run a theme park well to they should be able to run a theme park well.

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Since SetgoGuy didn't actually answer my question at all and just copy and pasted the same stuff, I went and looked at the website for JMA myself. (Seriously, Setgo, just please never post in a thread I post in again, thanks!)

 

So looking at the site there's a SMALL chance they MAY want to run an amusement park, but moreso I agree with the others who see them turning the area into more of an entertainment leisure type place to complement the future 49ers stuff next door.

 

If and when the new stadium is built, I could see a company like this possibly getting into a licensing deal with the NFL and/or any other major sport association to help create a sports themed park. It would definitely help money & promotion wise, and could also give the park a unique spin. Plus they could sell packages for games/park entry. Just a thought... a thought I kinda hate

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I really don't want CGA to get too much football theming. Just to have plush footballs as a prize for games is okay. Though, just say re-theming Planet Snoopy to a football theme or re-theme other rides such as Survivor or Top Gun/Flight Deck would just be too much. They can put some things dedicated to football in the park, but I don't want to see ANY rides re-themed to football. Plus, I hope they will build the stadium on the overflow parking lot because if it is on the main parking, it would be a mad house in the main parking lot and the overflow parking would always be full, then they need a tram like in the Six Flags parks to transport people to the park since it is a bit far to walk.

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Sure, but it does make one wonder what it will all be re-themed into this time around, I doubt Cedar Fair will let JMA keep the rights to use the Snoopy themes currently in the park, it doesn't leave much for the Planet Snoopy area, only Nick (would be interesting if they did make a come back, but I doubt that too) unless some other sort of theme arrangement is worked out. I wonder if Tiki Twirl will have to be renamed yet again as well, since that is something Cedar Fair came up with.

 

As far as the stadium, it's still planned to be on the overflow lot and that section of Centennial Blvd. (that street is going to be removed entirely minus a small access point to the soccer park there, the 49ers headquarters and the back of the stadium. Cedar Fair did not want the stadium on the main lot, mostly for the reasons you noted, parking and that it was rather close to the park itself. And that small substation on the main lot (along Tasman and near the creek) is apparently still planned to relocated to gain more parking spaces.

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Honestly, the best direction this park could take now is to revisit some of the "American" theming it began with. Paramount ruined it with too many gimmicks, and the park became less distinctive.

 

I honestly think Paramount ruined all the parks they touched!Hopefully these new owners see it for what it is worth and turn it back around, if not go really retro and take it to more of a traditional type park. That would make more sense with a ball field coming in next door.

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A lot of the lands in CGA are already themed pretty well, it just needs a little more theming.

 

The lands and their theme:

 

-Celebration Plaza - Traditional Southern style, Small Town

-County Fair - Carnival, Fair

-Action Zone - Just some random theming everywhere

-Planet Snoopy - Of course Peanuts theme

-Kidzville - Metropolis kid-size

-Boomerang Bay - Australian Outback, Australian Coast

-All American Corners - 50s, New Orleans, more of a generic "American" theme

-Orleans Place - New Orleans

 

Though the Game Time Sports Bar near American Cafe would be easily transformed to 49ers Sports Bar, and I could see All American Corners have some football theme since it makes the most sense to have football there since it is a generic American theme and since football is a big part of how the US is different from other countries.

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With what is going on, I have listed (in my opinion) the top six things most likely to happen with the park. Here is my order from best to worst situation:

 

1. JMA continues to operate and expand the park

2. The park becomes part theme park, part entertainment complex, with resturants and such. This would mean ticket admission and probably removal of rides. If this were to happen, I could see them selling everything in the right side of the park, while keeping most of the rides on the back and left sides of the park.

3. (Not too different from #2, actually) An entire new complex is built, and only Flight Deck remains. Here, guests can purchase tickets to ride Flight Deck, as well as having fun at the rest of the ski resort village-type complex.

4. JMA continues to operate the waterpark, while the rest of the park park becomes a village center. Perhaps the waterpark will even expand itself. I could also see this being merged with #3.

5. Say hello to the new village complex!

6. Great-Parking Lot-America. Hope to make a trip to whatever park gets Flight Deck.

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One thing I did happen to have stand out from JMA and the CGA press release was something like this:

“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

Call me optimistic or whatever but I would say that this would mean that CGA will continue to run as its normal self while *finally* investing in it. Thinking about it last night, I can kind of see something like how Universal has it with their City Walk leading up to the park entrance. This could feature high-end dining and retail. I could also see some form of transport between the stadium and the park via a tram/trolly working out. Lastly, especially if parking structures are involved and can take on the capacity of an amusement park and stadium (considering the fact that Universal Studios Hollywood utilizes a parking structure as well as a couple smaller lots), it would be nice to actually see some expansion out into some of the parking lot...a couple nice-sized coasters can fit out there and would be far enough from housing and offices. Just my 2¢. I'm sure I sound like I'm probably heavily fantasizing but these are just some ideas I figured I'd throw out there to share.

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^^ Great ideas!

 

I could see them really making this park good, but what I think is almost certain, this park won't be like it was before and probably won't be anything like other amusement parks we're accustomed to. If/when they get a new coaster, I doubt they'd get anything significant or take care of it the way a company would who's been in the business a long time. But we'll just have to see, JMA might surprise us.

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