If Manteca doesn’t close a deal with one of the two waterpark resort operators that have been negotiating to locate on municipal land west of Costco by year’s end, City Manager Tim Ogden said the city will launch a national search.
Manteca has not renewed an exclusive negotiating agreement to develop 62 acres fronting the 120 Bypass with Colorado-based McWhinney Development Co.
“We have an attractive site,” Ogden said.
Not only is it a high profile site along a freeway that connects Interstate 5 and Highway 99 and is on the main route Bay Area consumers travel to Yosemite and the Sierra, but it is at the center of a 100-mile market that is home to 18 million people. It is the reason why Bass Pro Shops opted to locate in Manteca.
Equally important, Ogden noted, is the fact Manteca has a shovel ready site that has all of the environmental clearance in place for a 500-room resort hotel with a 75,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, a 15,000-square-foot outdoor waterpark, 37,500 square feet of restaurant space, and a 30,000-square-foot conference center.
“We can have a building permit issued within six months of a deal being signed,” Ogden noted.
To build a 500-room hotel resort, Manteca does not need the McKinley Avenue and 120 Bypass interchange in place. The interchange is needed for any expansion or larger hotel that the two resort operators that McWhinney had been negotiating with — Great Wolf and Kalahari Resorts — indicated they were interested in pursuing.
Great Wolf did have direct exclusive negotiating agreements in place at one time with Brentwood and Gilroy but they have since lapsed.
Great Wolf started negotiating in tandem with Manteca for a possible water park in late 2010. Just as the environmental study work was being wrapped up in the fall of 2016, Great Wolf indicated they wanted to explore other possible Bay Area locations.
That is when McWhinney went looking for another possible partner and came up with Kalahari Resorts.
Ogden declined to offer any details of current negotiations except to indicate Great Wolf has been in contact with Manteca after the exclusive negotiating agreement with McWhinney expired.
A look at the Wisconsin Dells gives a glimpse at some of the major players in the growing indoor waterpark resort industry.
Great Wolf — the world’s largest chain of indoor waterparks — has a hotel, restaurants, arcades, spa, indoor waterpark, yoga classes, and conference centers in the Wisconsin Dells.
Great Wolf in 2015 opened California’s first indoor waterpark resort near Disneyland. That came after opening the first West Coast indoor waterpark report on the West Coast in Ground Mound, Washington.
Other players in the Wisconsin Dells are:
uMt. Olympus Water and Theme Park — The year-round indoor water and theme park located on 107 acres has 37 waterslides, seven roller coasters, and nine go-kart tracks, batting cages, the 100-foot Apollo’s Swing. rock climbing walls, and other amusement rides, five hotels, campgrounds, and a conference center.
uChula Vista Resort — The 620-rroom main resort has 110,000 square feet of indoor waterparks. 150,000 square feet of outdoor waterparks, volleyball courts, an 18-hole golf course, golf villa condos, outdoor wave pool, and 26,000-square-foot convention center. It also has a sports dome that hosts concerts, indoor football, and trade shows.
uKalahari Resort and Convention Center — It boasts the United States’ largest indoor waterpark at 173,000 square feet with 756 guest rooms, four main restaurants, fitness center, spa, indoor Flow Rider surfing simulator, movie theatre, live entertainment venue, golf, six-story Ferris wheel, sports bar, bowling alley, rock climbing walls, carousel, laser tag, a two-story go-kart track, miniature golf, bowling alley, a 3-D theatre ride, arcades, and a swinging pendulum ride.
uNoah’s Ark — It is described by the waterpark industry as the largest waterpark in the United States with water slides on 70 acres and is the only seasonal operator and is open from May to September.
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