Gilroy Gardens Theme Park No Longer Operated by Cedar Fair

Cedar Fair caused a ruckus in the theme park community this week when they announced long-term plans to close California’s Great America in Santa Clara, California. Turns out that’s not the only change within the company, as according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Cedar Fair is no longer operating Gilroy Gardens in Gilroy, CA.

What’s Happening:

  • Since 2006, Cedar Fair has operated, but not owned the Gilroy Gardens family theme park. Prior to that, Paramount had managed the park since 2003 (two years after it opened), then known as Bonfante Gardens, taking over from founder Michael Bonfante.
  • Although news of the contract ending just broke this week, it actually ended at the end of the 2021 season, as a mutual agreement between the two sides.
  • Gilroy Gardens Inc., the nonprofit that owns the park, now manages its own operations.
  • "We decided not renew our contract to focus on ourself," said Michael Fulcher, the amusement park's marketing director. "It just was in the best interest of our park to proceed as Gilroy Gardens."
  • The non-profit decided not to announce the change in management, as there are few noticeable differences for park visitors, Fulcher said.
  • Prior to this year, Cedar Fair had listed the venue as being among the theme parks it owned or managed. However, it omitted mention of Gilroy Gardens in its annual report for last year, which it made public in February.
  • Despite the end of Cedar Fair's relationship with Gilroy Gardens, holders of Gold Passes to California’s Great America will still be able to use them to get free admittance to the Gilroy park.