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Great Wolf brings dining options plus conference, event space
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Great Wolf’s targeted mid-2020 opening in Manteca is bringing the city more than just an indoor waterpark resort and the largest hotel in the Great Central Valley.

The $180 million 500-room hotel project includes two things that will impact the city beyond just being a tourist destination.

The first is the 45,000-square-foot Great Wolf Adventure Park. The family entertainment center includes a multi-level rope course, miniature golf, arcade games with prizes, and Great Wolf’s exclusive live action adventure game dubbed MagiQuest where players use interactive magic wands to battle goblins and dragons.

The general public can access the Great Wolf Adventure Park without booking a room at the resort. There will be a number of dining options as well. Confirmed so far is the Barnwood — a full-service fork-to-farm restaurant featuring dishes made from locally sourced ingredients — plus a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream parlor.

It also will have 12,000 square feet of flexible conference space with breakout rooms, built-in audio-visual technology, and customized catering for meetings and events. Again, organizations booking the facilities do not have to stay at the hotel.

By comparison, Modesto Plaza has 16,000 square feet of flexible conference space plus 2,400 square feet of meeting rooms.

The two biggest “complaints” posted social media sites so far have to do with local access and traffic.

First, a misnomer needs to be cleared up. Local residents aren’t being “locked out” no more than they were locked out of the old Manteca Waterslides. The price of admission is booking a room that — once you compare the cost to book six to eight people that comes with two days of access to the indoor waterpark — the cost per person per day is less that at outdoor waterparks in Northern California such as Raging Waters.

That said Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum confirmed Great Wolf representatives have said they will work on a plan that will provide a handful of “local days” where tickets to the waterpark can be sold to benefit non-profits without booking a room. It is similar to what Great Wolf does in their other locations.

The reason why waterpark access is tightly controlled by restricting it to hotel guests is simple. The “exclusive” resort strategy is attractive to families as it avoids congestion in the waterpark, substantially reduces lines, and helps enhance security and safety that gives guests a value that justifies the creation of 500 year-round jobs — 250 fulltime position and 250 part-time positions.

As for traffic, based on arrival times and departure, the majority of the traffic coming to the resort will hit the 120 Bypass before the mid-afternoon commute and traffic departing will be after 8 p.m.


Move to revive

South County


The horrendous beating of a 71-year-old man as he was walking a week ago this morning at a Manteca neighborhood park prompted City Council members to underscore the importance of the city securing surveillance cameras for public areas involving municipal property where people gather as well as to start talking about reviving South County Crimestoppers.

Councilman Gary Singh noted the effective role of home video security cameras in helping lead to the quick arrest of a suspect underscores the important of the city getting their own cameras in place.

City Manager Tim Ogden noted the city’s request for proposals for camera systems that the council set  $150,000 aside for that purpose didn’t initially get any takers. That has since changed as the municipal staff bird dogged companies that are now in the process of submitting proposals.

The goal is to have security cameras that can be relocated when needed as they are solar powered and accessed via Wi-Fi connections in place within the next few months.

DeBrum noted South County Crimestoppers has been out of commission for three years with the last posting of a reward with information regarding a crime being a home invasion in Ripon in 2015 and a shooting at a North Main Street pizza restaurant in Manteca the same year.

The last crime video posted was of a May 30, 2011 theft of a carton of cigarettes from a Manteca convenience store. With new technology that has significantly lowered the cost of high quality surveillance video leading to a proliferation of cameras, even simply having a constantly maintained website that is heavily promoted where videos connected with crimes could be posted without the offering of rewards could generate more  citizens to come forward with information.

 The 823-INFO line for tips is still active and is answered by Manteca Police dispatch. You can still call anonymous tips into the line about crimes but there is no active community-based effort to secure reward money that in the past when it was offered — to $1,000 — has led to tips that have led to arrests and successful prosecution of highlighted crimes.

Based out of Manteca, Crimestoppers dealt with crimes in Manteca, Lathrop, and Ripon as well as the surrounding rural areas. All three police departments were involved as well as the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office as well as the CHP.


Cantu first to use

social media video

ads for local race

Speaking of video mayoral candidate Ben Cantu released the first ever campaign video ad for a Manteca municipal election.

Candidates in the past have made use of various channels offered on Comcast to buy more traditional ads as well as have hosted campaign websites.

Titled “A New Mayor,” the ad focuses on Cantu’s background as a design planner and his involvement working with the City of Manteca as a city planner.

“Where others see lines on a paper, I see limitless potential and buildings being brought to life,” Cantu says in the video.

“I’m running for Mayor of Manteca to bring our city back to life,” Cantu continues. “Revitalizing Downtown, building affordable housing, and strengthening our critical police and fire services. Together, we can create a positive future for Manteca.”

The campaign will be distributing the ad online and through digital platforms. The video can be viewed on Cantu’s Facebook page, at, and on the candidate’s website at


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email