Commission recommends Great America master plan

In a step forward for the future of California’s Great America, the Santa Clara Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the City Council approve the park’s 20-year master plan.

The report outlines Cedar Fair’s 20-year vision for the park that would add eight 200-foot-tall rides, 11 rides of 100 to 200 feet, year-round operation and a commercial/entertainment destination near the park’s main entrance. Cedar Fair is seeking a rezoning of the park, which would allow it flexibility in developing new rides and operating practices.

In a presentation to the planning commission, Cedar Fair estimates that it will invest $50 million in new attractions in the park for the next six to 10 years.

“This rezoning represents the most significant investment in Great America,” said Robert Decker, senior vice president of planning and design at Cedar Fair. “We are excited to get the construction going.”

Cedar Fair’s report to the city shows potential rides it could add to Great America.

Among the proposed rides outlined in the report are a 250-foot hyper coaster, as well as an Intamin Impulse launched coaster. It also mentions that a 100-foot out-and-back wooden coaster with a “few bells and whistles would be a good addition to the park.”

A number of family rides are also proposed, such as an inverted mini steel coaster and mini wood coaster.

While the commissioners were supportive of the project, some members expressed concern over increase in noise from the park. Commissioner Suds Jain proposed that the park decrease its decibel levels in increments between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., which the commission agreed on.

The plan is now tentatively scheduled for review by the City Council on Jan. 24.

About Erik Chalhoub

Erik Chalhoub is the Managing Editor at the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian newspaper (and a roller coaster fanatic!). He is also the proud recipient of the 2016 ACE NorCal Richard Tuck Spirit Award.

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