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Published on February 16, 2024
San Jose Council to Vote on Reviving Raging Waters Park with New $6 Million InvestmentSource: Google Street View

Rekindling childhood memories and injecting a fresh tide of enthusiasm into the community, San Jose councilmembers are on the brink of diving back into the once-beloved Raging Waters. The waterpark, which found itself high and dry after its closure in 2023, is poised to make a serious splash under new management should the City Council votes in favor on Feb. 27. San José Spotlight reports that the potential revival of the park is thanks to California Dreamin’ Entertainment, willing to pour $6 million into the landmark for renovations. Fans of thrilling water slides and poolside fun may once again flock to the park, promising ripple effects for East San Jose's economy.

It was a heartbreaking goodbye when Palace Entertainment cut ties with the city, terminating a 20-year lease and leaving the water park to dry out last September. However, Mayor Matt Mahan, who, according to San José Spotlight, used to make trips from Watsonville as a kid, emphasized the financial savvy of this move. "We’ll spend less in the long run because we’re keeping it maintained," he said, betting on the beloved attraction's upkeep rather than letting it crumble. This short-term lease not only ramps up nostalgia but serves as a pivotal step in securing a long-term engagement while ensuring the waterpark does not turn into a relic.

Representing District 8, Councilmember Domingo Candelas reflected on his own youthful capers at Raging Waters during an interview with KTVU. He reminisced, "I have fond memories, cherished memories. It’s a sad day. And quite frankly it was surprising to the city," he said, with a hint of nostalgia for the wave pool and the job opportunity the place once denied him. Today, hopes hinge on the park not only as a treasure trove of memories but as a hub for employment for the city's youth.

The revenue-sharing sweetener in the new arrangement means the city of San Jose gets a bigger slice of the pie – 6% of gross park revenue, overtaking the previous operator's 5.5%, San José Spotlight points out. This increase is like pouring water back into Lake Cunningham's coffers, according to Neil Rufino, assistant director of the city’s parks department.