Water park good idea for B’wood

Amata Abatcha, Guest Columnist

Kyle Szymanski of the Brentwood Press wrote an article about a possible indoor waterpark being built in Brentwood. Great Wolf Resorts, the world’s largest chain of indoor waterparks, owns and operates 13 parks in the United States, which include restaurants, family entertainment centers, retail stores and hotels.

The City of Brentwood has begun informally discussing plans with Great Wolf Resorts about possibly opening a site off of Lone Tree Way and Sand Creek Road in an empty patch of land off of Highway 4.

“It’s believed that Brentwood is competing with Gilroy in Santa Clara County for the Northern California location,” said Brentwood City Manager Gus Vina, as quoted by Szymanski.

The other California location just opened this March in the Southern California city of Garden Grove. The Wisconsin-based corporation is still in the process of evaluating the market and the Brentwood mayor Bob Taylor believes things are coming into place for the company to make an opening in Brentwood.

I was born outside the country and as a baby, my family and I moved to Walnut Creek when my dad got a job in the Bay Area. Not long after that we moved to Antioch where I lived up until the age of 8, when we moved across the bypass over in Brentwood where I’ve resided ever since. Growing up in this part of this East Bay, I grew accustomed to how quiet life here is, and whenever I spent the summers with my cousins in Santa Clara, people asked where I was from. I’d say, “Brentwood,” and they’d have no idea what I was talking about. “Oh you know… it’s this small town next to Antioch and Pittsburg.”

They still didn’t know what I was talking about. “Do you know where Concord is?”


“How about Walnut Creek?”

“Okay, that sounds familiar.”

“Well if you know where Walnut Creek is, Brentwood is way east of that.” I quickly got the feeling that I lived in the middle of nowhere. This was further reinforced when Highway 4 was expanded a few years ago and the Sand Creek Road exit was given a huge, bright yellow sign right that reads, “FREEWAY ENDS.”

You can imagine how much attention this would bring my small town. It’s projected that if this indoor water park gets built here, it would draw in visitors all around the Bay Area as well as the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento area. Brentwood brings in approximately 200,000 visitors every year for fruit picking in the outskirts of the city where the original farmlands are, but contrast that with California’s Great America in Santa Clara, which brings in millions of visitors a year.

Although other people may say the possible indoor water park is a bad idea, I disagree. The resort will create 600 new jobs for people who might be sick of commuting out of town, and it isn’t as if the location is right in the middle of a neighborhood. The proposed site is off to the side of the bypass where you can see a wide expanse of land. If you’re concerned about how this could work amidst a severe drought, I read that the resorts use a recycled system and there’d hardly be any evaporation, considering the indoor nature of the facility.

This is definitely something we as a community should think about. I can foresee possible arguments against this concerning traffic and congestion, but I’m of the opinion that so long as our city planners design construction in a clean and efficient way, this obstacle can be averted. Surely the pros of something new and exciting in our small corner of the Bay Area should outweigh the logistical problems that we can work around.