California’s Great America has been busy this offseason, and whenever it reopens from its pandemic-induced closure, guests will notice a spruced-up park, carrying the momentum of the previous years’ work....
The Lunch with Legends was a fantastic luncheon with the Boardwalk’s Charles Canfield (Park President), Ted Whiting III (Vice President), Carl Arnett (Technical Services/Maintenance), and Carl Henn (Director of Maintenance & Development). The lunch came about at the 2009 ACE Holiday Party hosted by Richard Tuck at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach (PNATB). It was part of the auction that takes place every year at the party. Our friends at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk wanted to come up with a highly-creative auction item for the ACE party and the result was the Lunch with Legends. Among the items at the auction were roller coaster wheels, Medusa brake pads, original boards from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and this fantastic lunch opportunity.
Frank Biafore of PNATB won this in the auction and seven ACE members in turn went to this lunch on June 25th, 2010. The seven ACE members who attended were: Cody McAllister, Richard Tuck, Frank Biafore, and Nicholas, Brian, Shelly, and Courtney Laschkewitsch. Our delicious lunch took place at the Coasters Bar located inside the Boardwalk Bowl across the street from the Neptune’s Kingdom Arcade. During the lunch, many great stories were told and facts about the park and its vast history. One interesting fact was that 70% of the season passes the Boardwalk sells are from OUT of the county. Pretty surprising, don’t you think?
After the lunch, Carl Arnett and Carl Henn went back to their offices, while Charles Canfield and Ted Whiting showed us a little bit behind the scenes in the Cocoanut Grove facility. We got to see very old rooms that have literally been unchanged since they were built. There were old dressing rooms, stairways and other rooms. The kitchen was very modern, big, and smelled great as they were cooking a salmon appetizer for an upcoming event. Before we knew it, the little tour was over as the group was dropped off in the Neptune’s Kingdom. Our group was then let free to roam the Boardwalk, and of course, enjoy the NEW Haunted Castle!
— Nicholas Laschkewitsch