It’s a $220 million project that promises to bring more than 500 jobs to the community and make sure that Manteca will once again be a city with waterslides.
And if the turnout at Thursday’s project update meeting at Manteca City Hall is any sort of marker, it’s a project that the public is very excited about seeing come to fruition.
With construction on the massive resort humming along off of the Highway 120 Bypass — with the exterior framework of the hotel building now visible to passing traffic — dozens of residents packed into the Manteca City Council chambers to hear updates and ask questions about the project that many have been waiting a long time for.
“It’s exciting to see this people excited about a project,” said Great Wolf Vice President of Domestic Development Steve Jacobsen. “Like I said tonight, the city fathers were very smart about what they did with this piece of land, and while there were a lot of cities vying for our business with the planning and the zoning the way it was this project was shovel-ready. The city was very aggressive about making that apparent.
“But it’s just exciting to have people that are this excited about something that we’re bringing to the community. And honestly, what’s not to like about a waterpark?”
Jacobsen spent a portion of the meeting addressing common concerns from the public, touching on things like safety and traffic and the fact that the park be open to people for day passes when hotel capacity permits.
While some residents have been adamant about how adding the Great Wolf Lodge to an already traffic-impacted section of roadway like the bypass, Jacobsen noted that the guests that stay at the hotel typically aren’t arriving or leaving during peak traffic hours. Of the 17 parks that the company has constructed across the United States, including in traffic-clogged areas like Orange County in Southern California, the impact from the resort is believed to be minimal.
And with the Manteca Fire Department taking the lead on ensuring that the park adheres to modern safety standards, from the clearances that will allow a ladder truck to reach all parts of the complex, to the footing that will allow for the steadying-booms to be deployed, ensuring that all guests enjoy the recreational activities safely will remain the top priority for the company.
In addition to the waterpark and hotel, the resort will feature a number of restaurants and gaming areas as well as a conference center area that will be available to the public to rent. Recent changes from the original design also include and outdoor meeting space area.
According to Manteca City Councilman Gary Singh, who has seen Great Wolf change from a concept to an actual concrete foundation, Thursday’s turnout was indicative of the excitement that exists in the community about waterslides finally returning to The Family City.
“You can see that people are looking forward to this, and that there’s a bit of the nostalgia feel for the waterslides to come back to Manteca,” said Singh. “Events like this allow people to ask questions and fill in the gaps when it comes to the information that the public has, and that only helps make people more excited.”
There will be another project update meeting planned in the future as the resorts gets closer to its opening date. Current plans for filling the necessary positions to open the resort, which will include a mixture of jobs ranging from managerial and administrative roles to part-time, seasonal work, are for a job fair to be held between 45 and 60 days before the park officially opens. That job fair will be held in Manteca to give local residents the opportunity to be a part of the new endeavor.
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