Could South Bay's Raging Waters reopen after announcing permanent closure?

If passed, the best spot in the Bay Area to beat the heat since 1985 will re-open again this summer.

Dustin Dorsey Image
Friday, February 16, 2024
Could Raging Waters reopen after announcing permanent closure?
San Jose cut a deal with Raging Waters' new operator to reopen the iconic water park that announced its permanent closure last year.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The summer heat seems like a long time away, but residents in San Jose now know where they'll go to cool off. The city cut a deal with California Dreamin' Entertainment to reopen the popular water park Raging Waters.

It still needs to be approved by city council, but it's expected to pass unanimously.

The park looked like a scene from an apocalypse movie Thursday. The East San Jose gem sat empty with green water and drained pools.

It was sad sight to see at Raging Waters after the company that operated Northern California's largest water park announced it was ending its lease early leading to the sudden and surprising close at the end of last season.

RELATED: Iconic Raging Waters in SJ announces permanent closure after nearly 40 years

But soon enough, the park will return to life once again.

"Raging Waters will be open this summer, providing the fun experience we all know and love," Mayor Matt Mahan said.

"This is exciting to our residents in District 8 and East San Jose," city council member Domingo Candelas said. "Raging Waters is back!"

Back like it never left, only better -- this time with food trucks and a wine garden to go along with the family fun.

The city hopes to find a long-term partner to keep the park open permanently.

But for now, a short-term agreement will keep it open and maintained.

California Dreamin' Entertainment will operate the park until at least Sept. 2025.

"They're going to invest about $6 million in capital and operational investments to ensure the community has a great experience this summer," SJ Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Service's Neil Rufino said. "The increased rent payments that we're receiving, we worked out with them that 6% of their gross revenue will go back to the city."

It's a big economic and lifestyle boost, especially for East Side residents.

Seemingly everyone in San Jose has memories of Raging Waters.

Council member Candelas even applied to work there as a teenager.

Keeping the water park open brings jobs and business to East San Jose, while also providing safe, equitable and affordable family fun for all.

"I had my eighth-grade trip there, so I resonated 100%," Candelas said. "So, this is a commitment from the city to make sure that we are doing everything we can for the community. And I'm excited to enjoy the wave pool this summer, so this is an exciting opportunity for not just residents in District 8, but the entire valley."

The council will vote to approve the deal on Feb. 27.

If passed, the best spot in the Bay Area to beat the heat since 1985 will re-open again this summer.

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