A firm is interested in partnering with Manteca to build a water park near to the Big League Dreams sports complex and is willing to put up at least $2 million.
City leaders, though, aren’t jumping at the offer as they want to explore obtaining a partner that will essentially cover all of the cost of development and not just a portion. The city owns the possible sites for the proposed water park include one location immediately west of the BLD complex along the future extension of Daniels Street. It could also go next to a hotel that the city is seeking a developer to build directly across from the BLD complex on the northwest corner of Airport Way and Daniels Street. That location is adjacent to the site the Board of Supervisors has approved for a future South County administrative center for county services.
“It would be better for a partnership where the private sector picks up all of the costs instead of sharing them with the city,” noted City Manager Steve Pinkerton.
The firm’s offer was made even though a feasibility study is not yet completed.
What prompted the offer were the number of visitors that the BLD gets each year - 400,000 - plus the location along the Highway 120 Bypass, and the fact Bass Pro Shops just a mile away drew 2.7 million visitors from a 100-mile radius in 2009. Also enticing is the Manteca Lifestyle Outlets that are now under construction. All three ventures are expected to have drawing power that a water park can piggyback on.
The Manteca Redevelopment Agency is spending $27,700 in agency funds to retain AECOM to perform the water park feasibility study.
The original Manteca Waterslides was located on the western end of Woodward Avenue. For years it was Manteca’s biggest drawing card. The waterslides closed in 2004 and was torn down to make room for the gated lake community dubbed Oakwood Shores that went into foreclosure after about a dozen homes were built.
Almost anyone who lived in Manteca during the 30 years the Brown family’s venture was making a big splash has a story to tell of running into people while traveling – whether in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, or even Paris - who had heard of Manteca due to the waterslides.
It was a popular stop in the summer for those traveling to and from Yosemite to San Francisco for domestic and foreign tourists alike. It did more to promote Manteca and leave an impression with people from throughout Northern California except for one man – the late Bobby Davis.
Davis is the man that made Manteca famous with his signature cigar tipping sign-off for Manteca RV & Trailer while shouting the words “Maaan-teee-kaa!”
Even with Bass Pro Shops and Big League Dreams it is arguable that there are a lot more people who think “waterslides” when you say Manteca than anything else.
Manteca was actually the birthplace of waterslides in California. The original ones were poured from concrete and were inspired during a trip to Hawaii the Brown family made why trying to figure out what to do with the huge hole in the ground on their property created by the use of dirt to build up travel lanes on Interstate 5 through Lathrop.