New Main Entrance Slated for 2017
SANTA CRUZ, CA (August 30, 2016) – The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, recognized internationally as a must-see West Coast attraction, announced a $12 million improvement project scheduled to begin just after Labor Day. Concept drawings released today reveal a new main entrance and a fresh new look for a section of the Boardwalk between Neptune’s Kingdom and Undertow roller coaster.
The project will create an impressive main entrance for the Boardwalk, replacing a narrow walkway near Neptune’s Kingdom. The new entrance will include state-of-the-art ticketing windows, an entrance plaza, and a fresh new look for several games, concessions and attractions in the adjacent area. Further announcements about the project will be made in the coming months.
“We’re committed to investing in park improvements that make our community proud and greatly improve the Boardwalk experience for our guests,” said Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk president Karl Rice. “The unique character of the Boardwalk will be maintained and improved because nostalgia and history are such an important part of our story.”
Fright Walk and Lazer Maze, two of the Boardwalk’s most popular attractions, will both get fanciful new entrances. Fright Walk will also get a complete interior makeover, taking advantage of new basement/dungeon space. The spooky walk-through attraction was originally designed and built in 2004 by Boardwalk staff and remains a park favorite.
A number of local contractors including William S. Bagnall Architects, Slatter Construction and Nielsen Studios are working on the project. Roto, an Ohio design firm specializing in plans for some of the world’s largest theme parks, worked with Boardwalk staff to design the project which will connect the classic Moorish-style of the Cocoanut Grove building with the more colorful, eclectic style of the Boardwalk.
"This ten-month, $12 million project has been ten years in the planning," said Kris Reyes, director of community affairs for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. "The construction phase is expected to employ nearly 200 local tradespeople and construction workers, and ultimately create 63 new seasonal jobs at the Boardwalk." The Boardwalk is the largest private and youth employer in Santa Cruz County, providing 300 full-time and more than 2,000 seasonal jobs.
The current project is part of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s ongoing effort to improve the experience for visitors approaching the Boardwalk and beach area. Street-side improvements over the past few years include a wider entrance for the Main Parking Lot with a new self-park ticketing system, new park signage and enhancements to Boardwalk Entrances 3 and 5, and new landscaping along Beach Street.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has a long history of reinvestment in the park and beach area, a business philosophy passed down from Laurence Canfield who invested heavily in park improvements while serving as company president from 1952 – 1984. Current Boardwalk president Karl Rice is the great-grandson of Laurence Canfield.
The current project is scheduled for completion by summer, 2017. For more information and a look at the project design, visit www.beachboardwalk.com/new2017
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About the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, built in 1907, was voted Best Boardwalk in the USA by USA Today readers in 2016. One of the most popular attractions in Northern California, the seaside amusement park features a family-friendly collection of rides, games, entertainment, food and shopping. The park's 1924 Giant Dipper wooden coaster, and 1911 Looff Carousel are both National Historic Landmarks and the entire Boardwalk is a State Historic Landmark.