California’s Great America in Santa Clara now has an expiration date.
Park operator Cedar Fair announced Monday that it is selling the property and closing the park permanently.
The company sold the land to San Francisco-based Prologis for about $310 million.
They also said they signed a deal with the buyer to continue operating the park “up to 11 years” before closing it permanently at the end of their current lease.
In a statement, they said the park should continue to look and feel like this to visitors — at least in the short term.
Visitors to the park were shocked when they heard the news on Monday. Several park employees said they learned the news of the sale on Monday as well.
“It’s a bit of a shame, you know, because we have kids here who like that kind of thing, so it’s not really a good thing to close it down unless you open up a better or bigger park somewhere else,” said Jaime Gonzalez of Hayward. Gonzalez took his kids to the park to ride roller coasters on Monday. He said that Great America is a favorite spot for his family when school is out in the summer.
“I think that’s tough,” said Anthony Carranza, who drove from Santa Rosa to enjoy the rides. “I’ve been coming to this park since I was 7 years old so lots of memories with my family. This is the first time I’m only coming with friends, so today we’re making new memories, so definitely lots of nostalgia.”
Cedar Fair purchased the land from the City of Santa Clara in 2019. Cedar Fair previously said it had leased the land from the city for more than forty years. A Cedar Fair representative noted in an email that this new deal allows them to continue operating “one of California’s most popular entertainment destinations” by renting the property back over a period of years.
Cedar Fair CEO and President Richard Zimmerman said in a statement that the company was trying to maintain Bay Area ties in this sale: “We chose Prologis because of their deep ties in the Bay Area and their reputation for working closely together with local communities chosen as our partner great developments.”
“For our investors, the purchase and lease agreements allow us to monetize a high quality property in the heart of Silicon Valley at a very attractive multiple,” continued Zimmerman.
NBC Bay Area has also reached out to Prologis, with a representative saying they currently have no specific plans for future use of the land once the park closes.
“Even as we look beyond the lease expiration, we look forward to working with local government on the long-term plan, which we will do through joint discussions with the city and local community,” a Prologis representative said in a E-mail.
You’ll have several years, and park fans too, to find out.
The City of Santa Clara said it was just briefed on the news of that sale.
“On the surface, it looks like California’s Great America isn’t about to change in the short term,” Santa Clara Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor said in a statement. “My long-term hope and goal is to keep California’s Great America there for as long as possible.”
California’s Great America has existed in Santa Clara since 1976.