Great America, a beloved Bay Area theme park, to shut down within next 11 years

FILE - California's Great America in Santa Clara, California is set to close within the next 11 years.

FILE - California's Great America in Santa Clara, California is set to close within the next 11 years.

maybefalse/Getty Images

California’s Great America, a Bay Area amusement park that has entertained families for nearly five decades, will be closing its gates permanently in the near future. 

Cedar Fair, owner and operator of the park, announced on Monday that it has sold the land to Bay Area real estate developer Prologis for $310 million. The 112-acre property is nestled between Route 237 and Highway 101, directly next door to Levi's Stadium, and has its own dedicated light-rail stop. The deal stipulates that the park will close sometime within the next 11 years, although the exact timing has not been announced. 

The Santa Clara park, which opened in 1976 and currently features over 50 attractions, has been a generational mainstay for Bay Area residents, including some famous ones. Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry was recently spotted taking part in a three-point challenge at the park just days after winning his fourth NBA championship. 

According to a press release announcing the sale, Cedar Fair is one of the biggest amusement park operators in the world. The firm owns 13 properties, including Knott’s Berry Farm, another cherished California park. Cedar Fair bought the land beneath Great America from the city of Santa Clara in 2019 for $150 million, having leased it previously. 

Perhaps tellingly, Cedar Fair’s stock (NYSE: FUN) is down nearly 40% in the past five years but jumped 1.54% on Monday. 

FILE: The Patriot roller coaster takes riders through a 360-degree loop at California's Great America amusement park in Santa Clara on March 31, 2017.

FILE: The Patriot roller coaster takes riders through a 360-degree loop at California's Great America amusement park in Santa Clara on March 31, 2017.

Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images

“The sale and lease agreements allow us to monetize a high-value asset in the heart of Silicon Valley at a very attractive multiple,” said  Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman in the press release. 

It was not announced what Prologis, the new owner, plans to do with the property after the rides have shuttered.