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Lake at heart of fun zone
Mantecas plan for 143 acres of family entertainment
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In the not-too-distant future you may be able to dine at a restaurant along the shores of a man-made lake just across the street from the proposed Great Wolf Resort.

A promenade around the lake would allow you to take in the sights of people using paddle boats and kayaks.  It could also take you to a smorgasbord of other possible entertainment opportunities ranging from an outdoor venue for concerts to attractions such as a paintball course, zip lines, rock climbing, go-karts, miniature golf, skate park, destination playground, microbrewery, specialty shops, and even a revival of the original Manteca Waterslides.

It is all part of a conceptual plan now being hammered out to turn 143 acres of corn grown for silage that’s irrigated with treated wastewater into a family entertainment zone designed to tap into the pocketbooks of a million consumers within a 30-mile radius of Manteca.

Consultants hired by the Manteca Redevelopment Agency to develop a plan aimed at creating a community gathering place on city-owned water treatment plant land immediately west and north of Big League Dreams conducted a workshop on Tuesday.

The final draft of the plan is is expected to go before the City Council at the Sept. 20 meeting.

It is part of a broad-based economic and cultural development plan aimed at generating jobs, providing family entertainment in Manteca, and luring people from throughout the region to spend time and money.

Consultant Dan Martin of Market Feasibility Advisors noted there are two primary markets that Manteca needs to target:

• a million people within a 30-mile radius of the site northwest of the 120 Bypass and Airport Way interchange.

•the 400,000 plus people who attend BLD games and tournaments as well as those who spend weekends at Woodward Park at regional and north state soccer tournaments taking place on eight different fields.

At the same time Martin noted it would give Manteca a fighting chance to snag some of the pass-thru traffic heading from the Bay Area to the Sierra as well as some of the 1.2 million plus annually visitors to the Manteca Bass Pro Shops.

The goal is to provide a plan that has a strong mix of entertainment options across the age spectrum. To that end, the consultants devised a list of possible attractions that also included a destination playground, possible interactive water play features, as well as a venue for organized team sports competition such as basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics. Residents attending the workshop suggested the consultant may want to consider such things as an aquatics center with a competition swimming pool as well as wine tasting.

The large manmade lake is at the heart of the plan. Martin noted it would easily be filled thanks to the high water table in the area.

Lodi has a similar gathering place for community entertainment in the form of Lodi Lake that was created just off the Mokelumne River. The proposed Manteca lake would go a step further and incorporate entertainment venues with the appeal of lake based activities. Lodi Lake offers paddle boats, canoes, and even a manmade beach with a separated swimming area.

City staff noted that any work that involves turning earth would be at least two years away.