Making Great America Great Again
By Robert Haugh
California’s Great America has a storied past in the Mission City. Recently, the City Council gave the green light for an array of additions and features, the largest being year-round operation and expanded hours.
Here’s what’s proposed:
- A new, open-to-the-public marketplace and entertainment area. This area will include a sports bar, a 1,300-seat enclosed pavilion, restaurants and possibly a bowling alley.
- The 10,000-seat outdoor Redwood Amphitheatre will be renovated, as will the other theatres within the park, making way for more immersive attractions such as a 4D interactive experience and an educational animatronic dinosaur exhibit.
- Drastically increasing the number of tall rides. Currently, the park has eight rides of 50-100-feet tall – the new plan allows up to 16 rides of that height. The number of 100 to 200-feet tall rides is currently three – now expandable up to 11. Coaster aficionados will be most interested that there are currently only two rides over 200-feet tall – the plan allows for up to eight.
Kudos to Cedar Fair for investing in what’s become a fairly dilapidated park. It’s exciting to see people flocking to the park. WinterFest was an excellent example of creative use of the facility.
According to a report from Cedar Fair, they will be investing $50 million in the park over the next 6-10 years.
Jobs and Economic Stimulus
Early plans estimate there will be 73 new jobs year-round, plus 478 jobs during the construction process. The increase in sales tax revenue won’t be substantial. However, there is expected to be substantial ground-lease revenue and additional indirect economic activity such as increases in local hotel and restaurant spending.
We imagine noise issues will become a serious concern, with rides operating until 1a.m. 30 days per year.
Many neighbors voiced concerns over the extended hours. The City will certainly need to follow up to ensure the park meets noise level requirements. We will be watching.