Gilroy Gardens, Cedar Fair part ways

Gilroy Gardens and Cedar Fair quietly ended their management contract at the end of 2021 that had been in place since the Paramount Parks days.

News agencies looking into Cedar Fair after it announced at the end of June that it plans to close California’s Great America discovered that Gilroy Gardens and the Ohio-based theme park operator decided to let the contract expire.

For now, Great America Gold season passes will still provide guests with free admission to Gilroy Gardens.

The management contract allowed Gilroy Gardens increased marketing exposure and provided it with “industry best practices,” according to a 2019 Form 990 Gilroy Gardens filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Gilroy Gardens paid Cedar Fair $500,000 in 2019.

The nonprofit that runs Gilroy Gardens is now fully managing the park.

The City of Gilroy, which owns the land the theme park sits on, is currently considering a major investment in the gardens and the surrounding hillside. Possibilities include a zip line attraction, ropes course and surf park.

The discussions remain very early in the process. Talks are expected to start back up later this year.

Expect to see some improvements coming to Gilroy Gardens in the next year.

A major renovation is on tap for Bonfante’s Splash Garden, the park’s original water area before it opened Water Oasis, while Quicksilver Express is said to receive a much-needed new paint job soon.

About Erik Chalhoub

Erik Chalhoub is the Magazine Editor at New SV Media in Gilroy (and a roller coaster fanatic!). He is also the proud recipient of the 2016 ACE NorCal Richard Tuck Spirit Award.

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