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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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On 7/18/2022 at 6:59 AM, AmyUD06 said:

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.

To be fair, the sale itself came out of nowhere to begin with.  Though highly unlikely, There would be nothing stopping Prologis and Cedar Fair from another agreement to amend their lease to allow termination earlier than the 2 years currently required as the bare minimum…

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a trip report for Saturday.  RailBlazer was closed for operation.  Gold Striker was testing until 10:15.  The park's newest ride Liberty Twirler wasn't open yet, even though it was supposed to open by the end of June.  I thought the new ride additions to the water park were nice, along with the various signs and murals.  There were eight new kids slides, which I did, and I thought they were fairly enjoyable, including a green one with colored translucent bands inside.  Moreover, the two new tube ones (Barracuda and Feeding Frenzy) were solid, with my preference being for the latter.  Lastly, I thought Shark Reef Plunge, the launch capsule drop ride, was definitely the best ride at the water park and provided an exhilarating rush.

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On 8/4/2022 at 4:22 AM, VegasCoaster said:

Anyone know what took RailBlazer down the other day? 

It's knee was sprained from too much jerk, so it's been given a time out.  It's on it's last leg, sorta speak.

Check out the fabulous Demon, right up the street!

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3 hours ago, rachelmadcow said:

This park has been on the verge of being closed since they installed and then relocated Stealth. 

This! I cannot think of any parks that have removed a Vekoma flyer and continued to succeed!

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1 hour ago, CP_RULES said:

This! I cannot think of any parks that have removed a Vekoma flyer and continued to succeed!

Kings Island would like to have a word with you. . .

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22 hours ago, jarmor said:

Kings Island would like to have a word with you. . .

This was my point. Stealth was hardly the death of CGA!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am planning a trip to CGA during my Westcoasttrip in September and i need some experience from you guys.

My plan is to visit the park during a friday night when the event "Friday Nights at Great America" is scheduled. Now i found out that the added the sentence that *Rides are subject to availability.

Do you expect that all Coasters are running during these Friday nights? Or will it be better i will reschedule my visit to the Saturday?

 

Thanks for your help!

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Possibly planning a trip here in the next few months...does anyone know if they run all of the rides during Winterfest like Knott's, or is it more like the eastern CF parks where they close 90% of the rides?

Edit:  Second question, can adults ride Lucy's Crabbie Cabbies and/or Woodstock Express without a kid?  I figure no, as is CF's standard, but it's worth a shot LOL.

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Not like Knott’s. More like the other Winterfest events. Maybe Gold striker and Railblazer open only coaster wise and lots of kiddie rides and a Planet Snoopy. 

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First, just in case anyone is interested, there is a petition at Change.org to "save Great America."  Yes, probably no impact, but... https://www.change.org/p/save-california-s-great-america

Second, thoughts about this after having sat on it for awhile.  I am a bit bewildered about what the plan is for this.  Prologis is a company that develops warehouse space.  Clearly, the land here couldn't be aimed for that, so are they looking to branch out into something new?  If so, it is a rather expensive endeavor, though one where they could partner with someone that has such experience.  Or are they looking to sit on it with a plan to sell it off to someone else in the coming years?  Either one fits with the 11 year time line, given that they will need to work with the city to get any development plan approved, or to find another buyer.  Some members of the City Council sound quite angry about it, and have supposedly said no development that isn't an amusement park would be approved... but back to that.

Is there actually a chance, that like last time, something happens?  There are possible scenarios that can be imagined... another park operator steps in and buys it, or the city works something out to take over the land again (probably swapping out other land to bring the park back under city ownership, tech millionaire/billionaire with childhood memories steps in), etc.  Though really, they are probably all pretty far fetched.  Possible, but unlikely.  But thinking about these things, it occurs that there could actually be other operators interested.  The fact that the sale wasn't rumored kind of suggests that Cedar Faire never discussed this with others in the industry.  They likely wanted to keep it from the city or anyone that could interfere with the deal closing, and thus worked in circles where no rumors would echo.  If Great America is gone, it would be safe to say there will never be another park in the SF Bay Area.  So it could be attractive to other operators... though, probably not at the prices already involved.

The slim chance of something happening would probably be if the City Council actually is resolute, and continues to be, about not approving development plans.  But in reality, this is probably why that time frame is there.  Even if the current council members are against any change, the likelyhood of that remaining constant over the next decade are pretty slim.  And even if that happened, and Prologis was willing to just wait it out after Cedar Fair moved out... yeah, hard to imagine.  So, while I can imagine and speculate about crazy scenarios where the park gets saved, I think the best case scenario would be that part of it gets saved - think Orleans Place and the entry plaza buildings remain in place as a dining/shopping area connected to the new development.  And though still unlikely, I suppose if Gold Striker were simply left, it is imaginable that the Carousel, it, and maybe the Star Tower could remain as something that would operate on 49er game days or such?  Though, it would probably be the Carousel and that alone under such a scenario, as the confluence of the operating cost and nature/history of the attraction would make that possible.

I feel quite sad over the potential (99.9999% certain) loss.  But when Cedar Fair bought the land, this was a possibility that immediately crossed my mind.  The most hopeful aspect is that, given comments from the City, it seems unlikely that any change will happen in the two year time frame... I would guess that it will take a year or two for Prologis to smooth things over with the city and actually start to agree on a development plan, and then finding a partner and figuring out the development time line.  And that could be another problem, if construction gets back to pre-pandemic levels in the area; Apple, Cisco, Google, etc, all had multi-year delays in developments just waiting for crews to be available, due to projects already underway.  There are a few large sites in the Bay Area where development has been approved, but getting city approval on specifics and projects started have gone well over a decade!  If there is an actual "real" hope with a future for Great America, it would really be with changing tides in the future.  Still incredibly unlikely, but something that is at least nice to imagine whilst stepping through those stages of grief!

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On 8/23/2022 at 3:10 PM, AmyUD06 said:

can adults ride . . . Woodstock Express without a kid? 

I can attest that, on my only trip in 2019, I was able to ride solo on Woodstock Express.  In fact, it was a Zen ride.  Not my proudest moment but you do what you gotta do.  At least the track is far from the midway so only the ride op shared my shame. 

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  • 2 months later...

I made it out to the first two nights of Winterfest at CGA... and wow!  It was crowded!  It does seem like a lot of people are now visiting since the park was in the news and has an expiration date (2027 seems to be the target mentioned in the most recent Cedar Fair financial reports).  I've been going to the park since I was a child when it opened, and I can't ever recall the kind of traffic backups that were surrounding the park to start Winterfest.  In prior years when I've gone on Black Friday, there is usually very light attendance.

The park looks great, and I noticed along with repainting most of the cars on the Barney Oldfield Speedway, they also have some new cars with four seats (these were off to the side and not yet in service).

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