When I was 15-16, I worked at Great America. It was the year the Drop Zone was put in, and I worked at several games booths directly across from the entryway. We got free rides nearly every morning when we were done setting up the games stuff, before the park opened. Fun times, I tell ya, especially as a kid’s first job. Plus, being paid 75-cents over minimum wage, we were rolling in the riches! (sort of =p)
After several transitions from Marriot’s to Paramont’s to California’s, Great America has been sold to the San Francisco 49ers for $70 million. An NFL team getting involved in theme parks? It sounds perfectly reasonable, since the 49ers training facility lies right next to the park, and the Niners will be based out of Santa Clara somewhere around 2015. I suppose Great America can no longer sue the 49ers now, right? I just hope the Oakland Raiders keep their mittens off.
Just beware – while the 49ers look to have all their financing settled for the new stadium to be built, if Great America does not prove to be in the long term plans, either incorporated with the stadium directly or as a secondary source of revenue, we may be looking at the old park closing down – and that would be quite a bummer for everyone in the area.