Bonfante gardens to close early for again this year

Posted Thursday, October 10, 2002 4:57 AM | Contributed by supermandl

Disappointing attendance will force Gilroy's struggling Bonfante Gardens Family Theme Park to close for the year in two weeks, marking the second time since it opened that money troubles have shortened its season. Park officials said they are slashing the full-time workforce from more than 40 to about 10 and curtailing a special holiday season event, but they promised to reopen for a third season next spring.

Read more from The Mercury News.

Thursday, October 10, 2002 6:55 AM
That is really sad. It does sound like a nice theme park, the only problem I can see is the fact that it is in highly competive California. That may have killed the park before it started.
+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 7:08 AM

Well, for one thing I haven't seen any marketing for the park on T.V. or heard any on the radio. I know that kind of stuff is expensive, but it kills if you don't have it.

This is indeed sad. I was just there for ACE Day a couple of weeks ago and they really did a nice job for us. Too bad this park is struggling as it is. All of us here in Nor Cal agree that a terrain woodie would be very awesome at that park. Now we might not even have the park around anymore. :(

-----------------

+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 7:37 AM
I really think this park has great potential, they just need to find a way to fill those gates. I was there back in July, and it was one of the best parks I have been to.

-------------
John Peck; Male Prostitute

+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 9:40 AM
While I haven't been to most of the Europe parks I can say that Bonfante Gardens is in fact the most beautilful park in the US, yes even more so that Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It would be sad to lose this park.

I was at the park for the recent ACE event. Sadly, I too noticed not one billboard, radio or TV commercial, or even a sign along Highway 101 showing the exit for the park. There were brochures in our hotel lobby, tho, but that's not enough.

Far be it for me - someone who finds balancing his checkbook a challenge - to tell a park how to run its biz. But it seems the park should be able to corner two important markets: corporate picnics, and families. Let PGA and SFMW duke it out and try to capture the thrill crowd, there is no better park for families, especially those with children under 10, than Bonfante.

Moosh - fingers crossed that the park becomes a huge success!

PS - hey John Peck...what's your going rate? LOL!

-----------------
Sig under construction *** This post was edited by Mamoosh on 10/10/2002. ***

+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 9:59 AM
The park is great for families with small children, except for two things. It's quite expensive for such an outing, compared to a state park or something similar. Also, it's located outside Gilroy, making it at an hours drive for people in San Jose, and 2 hours from San Francisco. I don't think many parents with small children are going to drive that long to simply go to a park.
+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 10:02 AM
According to the Gilroy papers they are looking for an outside investor with what they are calling Experiance in the Amusement industry. People I have talked with have said since last year to companys have shown interest in the park, are you ready for this Busch and Silver Dollar City

-----------------
It isn't so bad. . .
Once you're used to it

+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 1:07 PM
I think Busch and SDC would make perfect owners for Bonfante, plus it would give them a west-coast pressence [yes, I know Busch is already in San Diego].

-----------------
Sig under construction

+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 2:39 PM
This is really sad news. Bet the new woodie will be canceled if attendance doesn't go up. I will make an effort to go next year. It looks like a very nice park with lots of potential.

-----------------
84 coasters and counting

+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 2:50 PM
hunter11 - given the attendance figures for this year and last year I doubt a woody was anything more than a wish for the park. They still have construction walls up for the 2002 addition that didn't happen. Unless the park is bought by a chain I wouldn't hold my breath for a woodie any time soon.

-----------------
Sig under construction

+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 6:30 PM

To me - I think SDC would be the one of the two that would really go after this type of park. It has all the things that they have in their parks -- if they did buy it, get ready for some turn of the century themeing.

-----------------

+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 6:48 PM
Mamoosh, where is Busch at in San Diego? I used to live there and I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

-----------------
Rob


"Some people spend an entire LIFETIME wondering if they made a DIFFERENCE. The MARINES don't have that problem." -President Reagan 1985

+0
Thursday, October 10, 2002 8:19 PM
Funny how some of the same rumors sre starting to float up this year about Busch as there were last year. Only one problem that will kill those rumors real quick- Bonfante is incorporated as a non-profit venture. Busch is most definately a for-profit company and the two just don't mix well.

That said, we visited Bonfante twice last year as a family- and that from Southern California! And we found it more than worth our time, money and trouble. It's an incredibly beautiful park with lots to see and do together as a family. Much like I imagine Disneyland was originally. All I can say is if you live nearby, visit it and tell others to visit it and spread the word. I'd hate to see this park get lost.

+0
Friday, October 11, 2002 7:23 AM
Rob - Busch owns Sea World in San Diego.

-----------------
Sig under construction

+0
Friday, October 11, 2002 10:55 PM
I was at Bonfante Gardens for Ace Day in late September and I was in awe. That park is the cleanest park I've ever been to thus far. I hope that park survives because it reminds me of how parks were way back when. I think a woodie would be a nice addition but again attendance numbers have to be much higher for that to happen.

-----------------
Steve G.
Pittsburg, CA

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...