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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

P. 476: Cedar Fair sells park land, CGA to close within the next 11 years

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^ I think what he meant was the park could close without notice/warning for good, like Six Flags did with Kentucky Kingdom.

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It is always sad news to here of a park closing. On the bright side for me personally, we are making our first California trip next year from the east coast. While it was only supposed to be LA and San Diego, obviously CGA is going to need to be worked in before it abruptly closes without notice after one of these next 11 years.

 

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Hopefully Railblazer will go to Knott’s. Rip out Coaster Rider and there you go!! If that’s not enough room then rip out the two flat rides as well. I was never a fan of those replacements for Perilous Plunge. This will right the wrong!!!

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SAVE TEH DEMON!

But really, I do love the Demon.  Ours in Chicagoland, anyway.  It's the better of the 2 - recording and eyes in lift tunnel, 1980 snap drop intact, disco tunnel, Demon caves, fog in mouth.  And no friggin seatbelt things.  I guess California will lose it's 3D logos on the train fronts, we lost ours decades ago.

Such a shame about Great America... makes me more grateful for ours and that we have many of our classics such as 2 flumes, a Whizzer.  I know CF runs the park so well, I wonder what the public will say. 

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Just as an FYI, while 11 years is the max for for the lease, it is said as "up to" in most reports because Prologis can cancel the lease at any time (which then makes it two more years).

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At this point the property owner is waiting for the right economy to close the park. Once it makes more economic sense for redevelopment the park will close. That could be never and the land could be resold if we hit (or the region hits) a major recession. This is America, whatever makes the owner the most money will be the decision taken...

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9 hours ago, swfan1988 said:

- Actually I think the Carousel and the Sky Tower are safe. The Carousel is an icon for the both the park and the area I think, so I could easily see the city or like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk getting it, and same with the Sky Tower.

The carousel at SCBB?  You're kidding, right?  That thing is massive, in terms of both width and height.  Where in the world would it have space for it there?  Not to mention the fact they have their own historic carousel already.  That said, I do agree it should be saved.  But I think SCBB is not going to happen.

The Sky Tower would be interesting, but are their any height ordinances at SCBB?  I know many beach towns have them, so that nearby houses don't have obscured views of the beach (Santa Barbara does), though I don't know about Santa Cruz.

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I'm guessing CGA wasn't a big 💰maker for Cedar Fair.

They'll probably send Grizzly to Michigan's Adventure as a middle finger  Rail blazer may go to King's Dominion or Dorney Park, Patriot may go to .... Valleyfair, Flight Deck may go to Canada's Wonderland.

Now what rides go where, or do they pull an Elitch Gardens and move somewhere else?

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Visit the park ASAP.  I really don't think they will make it 11 years!  Chances are next year they could start selling some stuff.  With the hot real estate market right now I think the park will shut down relatively fast.  And I doubt Gold Striker will be relocated, parts from it will most likely be salvaged (chain lift mechanism, motor, trains etc...) and some wood.

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Makes me sad.   This was my childhood park back when it was still called Marriott's Great America (and before the Turn of the Century became The Demon, hence my name).

The truth is that it felt like the park has been on borrowed time for many, many years, off and on.  I always wondered why it didn't ever get greater attendance?  Part of it is the region (there are a lot of competing things to do in the Bay Area, particularly outdoors), and part of it is frankly the relatively lousy ride investments.  While it's "sister" park in Chicago got the American Eagle, we later got Grizzly (smh);    Batman vs. Top Gun (now flight deck), Iron Wolf vs. Patriot (formely something else).   Nearly always the smaller versions.   There was never a true signature ride: Demon was as close as we got.

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Sad to see a park go. But if the park was in fact missing its financial targets for years and had ongoing auxiliary issues (i.e. Parking with 49ers, Height/Construction requirements with Santa Clara), I could see Cedar Fair getting frustrated by holding onto an underperforming park and with more restrictions around their ability to invest and transform the park over time, and deciding to cut bait in a post-Covid environment to free money/capital for other parks. 

If nothing else, it looks like at least Flight Deck, Patriot, Railblazer, and Gold Striker, along with some flats, could be nice prizes to some of the other Cedar Fair parks if relocated. Hopefully they preserve Berserker as well. 

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18 hours ago, Vonni said:

^ I think what he meant was the park could close without notice/warning for good, like Six Flags did with Kentucky Kingdom.

yes, exactly what I meant, the provision for the company to decide to end the lease at anytime could quickly turn into another Six Flags/KK situation. I give it until 2027 not 2033.

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Never got to visit this park, even though I always wanted to. I grew up in Chicago, and I was always intrigued by the sister park in California. Hope they  slice up rail pieces off the demon, I'd love to own a part of it. 

 

Carowinds gets dibs on the RMC. 

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1 hour ago, ricklap77 said:

I visited the park once in 1999 while they were testing Stealth, the Vekoma flying dutchman coaster prototype!  

noonecares.gif.8a1c4c590864fad23a68c4b17b83950f.gif

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I visited the park once in 2008 and then again in 2019.
If you're in LA, I would suggest flying from Burbank to San Jose and then taking an Uber to the park. 
The flight is under an hour, and the San Jose airport is about ten minutes from Great America.

AND fares range from $59-79 each way on Southwest. Beats the driving, traffic, parking, etc. and they do multiple flights per day.

Pics from my flight! 

 

 

 

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I'm not sure if any of you are aware, BUT the interesting thing is the Tuesday before the announcement about CGA closing, ACE announced that 2024 CoasterCon will be held at CGA/SFDK/SCruz boardwalk (no not a typo I meant 2024..... 2023 Con is at Dollywood/Carowinds)

Were they related? Coincidence? No idea. Maybe ACE had a heads up and decided to put Con there before it closes or maybe just random coincidence. I would think CF will give enough f**ks to keep it nice and keep all the coasters in tact to get through Con, but I may be wrong. If they do however, I would say once they get through that it might go downhill fast. I've never been to the park but looking forward to experiencing it then.

Also, I wonder how much it will impact attendance and therefore investment in SFDK once they lose what I assume is their main competition. Will it improve or go the same way eventually for the same reasons as we are all aware of land values in California? I don't know the differences between the two or any comparison of land value between the two parks but the thought did occur to me.

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As a local that basically grew up in this park every season throughout the years this is incredibly disheartening to hear. I still remember when Flight Deck was Top Gun and we had Invertigo, doing the Goldstriker promoshoot, etc /sigh). Especially after the massive expansion plans were announced and them dumping a bunch of money on the waterpark. Although I suppose the writing has been on the wall for years and dumping haunt was another huge red flag.

That being said there's a video floating around the internet of the Santa Clara mayor saying the city had NO idea this sale was happening and the city council is extremely upset about it for multiple reasons (youth summer jobs, culture for the area, etc). She even mentioned that as of right now the land is staying zoned for theme park use, so it'll be interesting to see if anything comes out of the city's talks with both CF and Prologis. At the end of the day money talks and if Prologis can prove their new development will provide more jobs, greater economic impact for the city, etc they'll probably give in and re-zone the land. It's all still pretty up in the air at the moment though.

(Not sure if I'm allowed to be linking videos or not but it's here:)

 

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That video is her way of saying “we need our kickbacks to approve the zoning change.”  There’s zero chance the park lasts the full 11 years.  50 years would be 2026, so I suspect it’s already being arranged to have that be the last season…

Stadium mixed use developments are all the rage, I bet prologis already has a deal with the niners.  Best case is they save the amphitheater and the carousel/fountain entrance as part of the inevitable development. 

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It seems so stupid to not be able to afford a theme park because the area is too rich. Losing a park reduces the land value -- not enough to affect the property sold, but it doesn't seem far-fetched that lost property value could total $155M and lost tourism etc. another $155M in the next 5-10 years. However they could find another place for a park or turn one of their smaller parks into a more serious one.

 

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10 hours ago, Jew said:

Stadium mixed use developments are all the rage, I bet prologis already has a deal with the niners.  Best case is they save the amphitheater and the carousel/fountain entrance as part of the inevitable development. 

Personally, I could see the carousel remain where it is because I've seen cities have stand-alone carousels in their town squares.  I want to say I have hope that Gold Striker would also remain as another stand-alone attraction in the development but I highly doubt the businesses would like that.  I'm very sure Prudential is really happy about the CGA news

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  • 2 weeks later...
24 minutes ago, andrew.mora said:

CGA sent me this Email.

Hello Andrew,

Thank you for contacting California's Great America. Yes, there will be a 2023 season.

Not sure why you'd bother them asking if there'd be a season next year.  All of the information known about the sale indicates that the earliest they could possibly close would be 2 years away.

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