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Four big draws may bring 3M visitors to Manteca in ‘10

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Four big draws may bring 3M visitors to Manteca in ‘10

The Bass Pro Shops has drawn more than 2 million people to Manteca since opening just over 13 months ago.

HIME ROMERo/The Bulletin


POSTED December 3, 2009 2:38 a.m.
A decade ago Manteca’s then fledgling Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau had to “generate reasons why” people should visit Manteca.

The offshoot of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce pushed an aggressive SMERF campaign targeting seniors, military, education, recreation and fraternal organizations. The message was that Manteca – being equal distance from San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento – was a great place for organizations with members in those three places to gather. It was effective to a degree as Manteca snared a number of fraternal groups, religious gatherings, business meetings and even managed to secure a number of regional sporting events.

Location, however, does not a destination make. That message was delivered by destination guru Roger Brooks several years ago to Manteca leaders.

Now Manteca is on the verge of drawing more than 3 million visitors a year due in part to it being at the epicenter of the nation’s third largest 100-mile market draw with 17 million consumers topped only by Los Angeles and New York. But it has more to do with what is now located – or in the process of being built – in Manteca.

Bass Pro Shops since it opened in October 2008 has become Manteca’s biggest calling card with more than 2 million visitors. Right behind it is Big League Dreams with close to 500,000 visitors with most during the week coming from the immediate area and the majority from a larger drawing radius for weekend tournaments.

And when the Manteca Lifestyle Outlet Stores open next to Bass Pro Shops, Kerasotes Showplace Theatre, and JC Penney, Manteca is expected to start the journey to become a major draw much like the outlet stores at Vacaville.

“With the new restaurants coming in it’ll be a place for the entire family,” said Abeldt. “Dad can go to Bass Pro, mom can hit the outlets and the kids can go to see a movie.”

The fact the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley will probably draw 3 million regional visitors in its own right is why the CVB is relocating its offices from inside  the Strikezone to part of the complex housing the outlet malls.

“We need to be where the visitors are,” Abeldt said.

The CVB will go from a five-day to a seven-day a week operation with the purpose of providing visitors with information on numerous other attractions in and around Manteca.

Rounding out the Top Four list is Delicato Vineyards.

“We often forget we have the world’s sixth largest family winery right in our backyard,” Abeldt said.

The Delicato Vineyards wine tasting room has been a must stop for thousands of travelers on Highway 99 for decades. It isn’t unusual for Pacific Northwest relatives passing through on their way to destinations in the Sun Belt to stop by and purchase cases of Delicato wines.
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