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ONE JOB PER $20,000
Mantecas Great Wolf investment
great wolf restaurant
Lodge Wood Fried Grill is one of nine food/dining options at the Great Wolf Resort in Garden Grove. The grill offers premium, wood fired steaks, freshly caught seafood and lodge smoked ribs.

Manteca through the investment of $7.5 million in connection with the proposed Great Wolf indoor waterpark resort will create 375 fulltime equivalent (FTE) jobs.

That reflects 250 fulltime and 250 part-time jobs when the $180 million resort opens by 2020 on 29 acres the city is proposing selling to Great Wolf directly east of Costco backing up to the 120 Bypass and fronting the future extension of Daniels Street.

That comes to $20,000 per FTE job or 1.75 FTE per $35,000 the city invests.

Why that matters is the city under state law cannot invest local funds in such projects unless at least one FTE is created per $35,000 invested. Based on the FTE jobs Great Wolf is creating, Manteca could not legally invest  more than $13,125,000 to make the project work.

The city does not expect to spend more than $7.5 million in local funds directly on the Great Wolf. That amount covers the extension of Daniels Street (including infrastructure such as sewer, water and storm lines below the pavement) to McKinley Avenue, off-site mitigation measures such as along the Airport Way corridor at the 120 Bypass interchange and its intersections with Daniels Street and Yosemite Avenue, as well as consultant fees. 

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. to consider the development agreement for the Great Wolf project as well as associated documents. If approved construction is expected to start in June on the 500-room hotel and indoor waterpark resort.

The authorization for cities to use their funds in a manner that promotes economic opportunity was approved by the state in the aftermath of the loss of redevelopment funds.  Section 5200 of the California Government Code states the intent is to “promote economic development on a local level so that communities can enact local strategies to increase jobs, create economic opportunity, and generate tax revenue for all levels of government.”

A subsection states “development agreements, loan agreements, sale agreements, lease agreements, or other agreements that create, retain, or expand new jobs, in which the legislative body finds that the agreement will create or retain at least one full-time equivalent, permanent job for every thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) of city, county, or city and county investment in the project after full capacity and implementation.”

The $7.5 million is in addition to Manteca sharing the city’s 9 percent room tax Great Wolf guests will pay per night. The room tax sharing agreement ends 25 years after the resort opens its doors.

An independent analysis shows Manteca would receive $99.1 million over the first 30 years while Great Wolf would receive $100 million. The last penny Great Wolf receives would be in the 25th year of operation. The analysis was done over 30 years to provide a snapshot of Great Wolf’s impact on the municipal general fund’s bottom line several years after the room tax sharing ends.

Great Wolf receives a set $2 million annually for 25 years and a percentage split above that for 25 years. In the 25th year that overall amount is just over $5 million — the $2 million base and the $3 million share of the split beyond that amount, The same year — the 25th and final year of the split — Manteca is projected to receive $4.2 million. The next year Great Wolf receives nothing and Manteca $10 million. Great Wolf never again receives a penny while the room tax total keeps climbing as room rates are raised in future years.

 Great Wolf for that 25-year period would receive the first $2 million of room tax that is generated. For the first 10 years they would receive 75 percent of the balance over $2 million and the city 25 percent. That would make the city’s share for the first 10 years $581,750 annually. When added to the sales tax and property tax Great Wolf would bring $1.7 million annually into the city’s general fund in addition to the $123,000 in Measure M taxes.

From its share of the room tax, Great Wolf will pay the city $675,000 for the 29 acres, pay for development fees they owe the city, and cover the cost of planning and inspection consultants the city needs to hire to move the project forward.

After 10 years Manteca receives a bigger share. It is expected to receive at least $1,163,400 in room taxes to bring its share to $2.3 million annually. When the deal ends in 25 years, Manteca would receive an annual equivalent of $4.2 million.


What Great Wolf is

proposing to build

The final proposal the city and Great Wolf have hammered out calls for a 109,767-square-foot indoor water park. That is roughly the same floor space as the Manteca Walmart.

Great Wolf has included a 58,896-square-foot family entertainment center dubbed Adventureland. It will feature everything from zip lines, climbing wall, and arcade to a mini-bowling alley.

There will be five or more restaurants in an 18,609-square-foot restaurant/food court that will seat up to 2,100 people. One would be a nice family sit down restaurant while another would be buffet style. Others typically include a Tex-Mex and American style dinning. That is in addition to other eating/drink places that typically include Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Dunkin’ Donuts, and other outlets such as a candy store.

Adventureland  is a pay to play meaning guests as well as the general public are charged for each attraction. All of the dining options will be open to the public as well.

The 500-room hotel will consist of 357,184 square feet or roughly the same floor space as Manteca’s Costco, Target, and Walmart combined.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email