Bay Area’s Greater America shut down, but some plan to relaunch it


In June, the owner of Great America, amusement park giant Cedar Fair, announced that it had sold the Santa Clara property for $310 million. “The sale and lease agreements allow us to monetize a high-value asset in the heart of Silicon Valley,” Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman wrote in the company’s press release. ‘era.

The agreement stipulated that the park would close within the next 11 years. When theme parks close, their rides are often sold to other parks or moved to other locations within a company. Great America has more than 50 ridesranging from bumper cars to steel roller coasters.

Christopher Smith says FOX26 News that he is working with architects to present a plan to relocate Great America rides to Fresno County. Smith said Fresno’s proximity to the main tourist hub of Yosemite, its location along Interstate 5 and its future stop on the high speed rail line make it the perfect location for a theme park. He calls his concept the Heart of California.

“We plan to do five different themes to help bring California in with a Gold Rush theme, a vineyard theme, a beach theme, a ski theme, and we hope the architect’s design will help create more interest in the project, to show a real possibility come true,” Smith told FOX26.

This theme may sound familiar to amusement park enthusiasts; this is reminiscent of the original concept of Disneyland’s California Adventure Park. This theme was a opening disaster, with many tourists confused as to why they wanted to see watered-down versions of California attractions they might visit in other parts of the state. After a huge financial investment, Disney was able to change the theme and save the park.

Smith has a petition to gather support for his project. He said he intended to present a plan to Fresno County officials soon.

“We have contacted Cedar Fair with interest in them controlling the park and supplying Great America rides to the park,” Smith wrote on his petition page. “They responded with a lack of interest in the project at the moment. We hope that this petition will show them the public’s interest in the project and we hope that they will reconsider the project, or that other investors will join our project.


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