California’s Great America Gets Rezoning Approval From City!
We’ve been tracking the progress on the new Master Plan for California’s Great America since last Spring, when Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet made an announcement about the future of the park, and what the company had in mind for it. A major step in the progress of the new Master Plan for California’s Great America took place in the early early morning of January 25th. The city council of Santa Clara, California, where California’s Great America is located, voted to approve the rezoning of the land of Great America and the environmental impact report on the plan, meaning that Great America has the approval to begin working on the plan.
With the rezoning and EIR approval, it means that the park will be able to move forward on their new plan, with longer operating hours, more and taller rides, and a large “entertainment district” in front of the park similar to the marketplace at Knott’s Berry Farm. Ouimet spoke at the council meeting. He described the meeting as the “culmination of three years of work…with strong encouragement from city leaders…community business leaders…and residents of Santa Clara who enjoy the park today.”
“We are prepared to invest substantial monies in the park at an accelerated pace, to make sure that what guests tell us is ‘Good America’ can really live up to its reputation as ‘Great America’,” he continued. Ouimet’s full statement, and the rest of the council meeting, can be seen below.
This is, of course, what any fan of California’s Great America wants to hear! As we discussed in our post earlier this month when we dug through supporting material for the Santa Clara Planning Commission meeting, there are several new rides that California’s Great America is considering. The biggest of these would be a 250 foot tall hyper coaster, now allowed under the newly approved zoning, which would be the tallest roller coaster in California if it actually gets that high (not counting Superman Escape at Magic Mountain). Along with that are potentially a launch coaster, multiple family coasters, tall tower rides, and more. The approval also means there is the potential for extended hours up to midnight throughout the year, and ride operation as late as 1AM for 30 days of the year.
Congratulations to Great America on the successful approval. They’ve worked closely with the council and worked closely with residents, and it looks like that work paid off. It’s also a testament to how good a partner Cedar Fair has been with the community, which was highlighted multiple times by the council when they voted for the approval.
There aren’t any details yet on when some of the potential new attractions will be built, but if we had to guess I’d think a major roller coaster in 2019 wouldn’t be out of the question, and I could see work on the entertainment district starting for some 2018 openings. As we learn more about what the first new rides are, we’ll be sure to let you know, so make sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! And let us know in the comments below what potential new rides you’d like to see Great America make first!