What's new

California's Great America - Park sold, eventually closing

opivy028

Roller Poster
Exactly this. The concern and consideration honestly isn’t the park chains debt; It’s the uncertainty they’ve experienced for years after getting jerked around on parking issues regarding the nearby football stadium, and the absolute difficulty of operating on leased land, rather than fully owning your entire property. Basically makes it nearly impossible for long-term strategy and investment planning, especially if you’re thinking about putting in big, new attractions that have high capital cost.

Cedar Fair sound buyer and is cutting bait. It’s nothing to do with the parks success, but rather an opportunity to exit the market all together and be done with the shenanigans of figuring out how to continue developing and operating the park.
This part. It’s very normal and healthy for businesses to operate with a significant amount of debt (just like it’s normal for families to have a mortgage); CGA just seems to have headaches and uncertainties that aren’t present at other parks
 

Twisterfan1995

Roller Poster
Why would that be true for B&M's and not hundred years old woodies?

Liability and Economics: If B&M says that parts or track structures at the end of their service life (these coasters were built in early 1990's) and need to be replaced to ensure safe operation, and Cedar Fair determines it not to be worth the expense (i.e. partial/full retrack, new trains and controls, etc) , they may just elect to scrap the rides versus dropping millions on them only to ship off to lower profile parks if they don't see an ROI they like.

Wooden Coasters also usually get re-tracked periodically as needed since wood is generally cheaper and doesn't require welding, but also more vulnerable to weather and the elements (cold, humidity, moisturized).
 

Steely Dan

Roller Poster
It's also not strictly an age issue in my eyes. Vortex/Patriot and Flight Deck are not only both fairly old for B&M's, they're also among the shortest coasters of their respective styles that B&M ever built.

On one hand, their smaller size might be a argument in favor of relocation, on the other, CF might not see a path forward to a suitable ROI in terms of marketability at a potential new home.

I really can see it going either way with those two.

One other possibility that I wouldn't rule out is a partial relocation of Patriot. Ship the trains and station equipment to Carowinds to convert Vortex to a floorless and scrap the ride structure left in California.
 
Last edited:

Jackson

Mega Poster
It's also not strictly an age issue in my eyes. Vortex/Patriot and Flight Deck are not only both fairly old for B&M's, they're also among the shortest coasters of they're respective styles that B&M ever built.

On one hand they're smaller size might be a argument in favor of relocation, on the other, CF might not see a path forward to a suitable ROI in terms of marketability at a potential new home.

I really can see it going either way with those two.

One other possibility that I wouldn't rule out is a partial relocation of Patriot. Ship the trains and station equipment to Carowinds to convert Vortex to a floorless and scrap the ride structure left in California.
I can see Flight Deck going to Valleyfair, but nowhere else. FD would fit perfectly in that park. Patriot is getting the axe though.
 

Fiender

Roller Poster
Thank god, California actually doing something right
I mean, what she wants and what will actually happen won't necessarily align. If the new landowners say "we're bringing x,xxx jobs to the area", I bet the city council will re-zone the land. Prologis isn't going to suddenly get into the theme park business because of Santa Clara.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I mean, what she wants and what will actually happen won't necessarily align. If the new landowners say "we're bringing x,xxx jobs to the area", I bet the city council will re-zone the land. Prologis isn't going to suddenly get into the theme park business because of Santa Clara.
Fortunately, the park itself also employs a couple thousand people, so any new development would have to exceed that number to be a net positive. But a new office park in Silicon Valley would attract an entirely different type of workers, one that the county arguably is too geared towards already, while there would be fewer employment opportunities for those without a tech background. Moreover, cramming the area with more tech jobs at the expense of unskilled jobs makes the area much more vulnerable to conjunctures in the tech sector. If the tech sector crashes, all the jobs go away. The park ensures some diversity in the economy, which would be quite a solid reason to keep it there.
 

Fiender

Roller Poster
Fortunately, the park itself also employs a couple thousand people, so any new development would have to exceed that number to be a net positive. But a new office park in Silicon Valley would attract an entirely different type of workers, one that the county arguably is too geared towards already, while there would be fewer employment opportunities for those without a tech background. Moreover, cramming the area with more tech jobs at the expense of unskilled jobs makes the area much more vulnerable to conjunctures in the tech sector. If the tech sector crashes, all the jobs go away. The park ensures some diversity in the economy, which would be quite a solid reason to keep it there.
Good points. I do wonder what the Santa Clara officials can do since the sale has seemingly gone through, and if they do find a way to keep CGA around, what the park looks like in a post, "Cedar Fair trying to ditch it" world.
 

i305_zack

Mega Poster
Good points. I do wonder what the Santa Clara officials can do since the sale has seemingly gone through, and if they do find a way to keep CGA around, what the park looks like in a post, "Cedar Fair trying to ditch it" world.
I don’t believe Santa Clara can buy the land from them because that was the reason they had to sell it to CGA correct?
 
It would be cool to see someone swoop in and buy the land and keep the park around! It is already a stronger park than discovery kingdom! With one more marquee coaster it would have one of the better top 3's out there!
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Good points. I do wonder what the Santa Clara officials can do since the sale has seemingly gone through, and if they do find a way to keep CGA around, what the park looks like in a post, "Cedar Fair trying to ditch it" world.
Zoning the area specifically for amusement park purposes ought to do the job.
 

Wazzupnerds

Mega Poster

Christian

Hyper Poster
all talk no walk

No walk now, could be in the future. Depends how upset the voters are. The city could be incredibly harsh with the zoning if they want to, making the land useless if it isn't a theme park. When we get closer to a closing, this might heat up.
 

Wazzupnerds

Mega Poster
No walk now, could be in the future. Depends how upset the voters are. The city could be incredibly harsh with the zoning if they want to, making the land useless if it isn't a theme park. When we get closer to a closing, this might heat up.
If they wanted a theme park they shouldn't have made multiple threats to turn it into a parking lot. Cedar Fair walking is completely their fault, I don't know why people act like CF is the villain.
 

Christian

Hyper Poster
If they wanted a theme park they shouldn't have made multiple threats to turn it into a parking lot. Cedar Fair walking is completely their fault, I don't know why people act like CF is the villain.
While that might have soured CFs taste of the area, I don't think the city council was the reason for selling the park. I think the reasons for CF selling it are purely financial. If the park isn't profitable enough and sits on prime real estate then why keeping it?

My preferred solution to this issue would be the city acquiring it from the new owner and running it. Turning it into an American Liseberg. A theme park offers many non financial benefits. Theme parks offer benefits such as low skilled entry jobs, youth jobs, city popularity, leisure, tourism, etc. Even if Liseberg could probably be torn down and make more money as a high rise mixed use development, the city is adamant to keep it.
 
Top