News Details

New theme park could revive county fairground

June 29, 2011

By David DeBolt
Daily Republic

FAIRFIELD — One way to kick-start the development of the county fairgrounds is to expand Six Flags Discovery Kingdom or build another theme park, a county-hired consultant team has found.

The future of the fairgrounds — located near the intersection of Interstate 80 and Highway 37 in Vallejo — has been discussed over the past decade. The vision for the 149.1 acres is a mix of private and public space with retail, commercial space and hotels.

But consulting firm Gruen Gruen and Associates, in a market analysis report released this month, found market support for retail, office and hotels is unlikely to materialize in the near future.

So the consultant is recommending the county explore allowing Six Flags to expand on fairground property or open another theme park or entertainment venue.

The consultants found that an entertainment venue, such as a Legoland, would compliment the county fair and Six Flags and "would be a catalyst for other related development on the fairgrounds site," according to the consultant's report.

A similar example could be found in Anaheim. Ron Grassi, the principal management analyst for the county, said Downtown Disney, the retail arm of Disneyland, wasn't developed until well after the theme park.

Board of Supervisor Chair Mike Reagan said the idea is to develop a regional destination that would bring in additional sales tax revenue by attracting people from outside of Solano County. That way, the fairgrounds wouldn’t siphon business from stores and hotels in Vallejo and the rest of the county.

"We’re not putting in a mall to compete with Solano mall," said Reagan.

Reach David DeBolt at 427-6935 or ddebolt@dailyrepublic.net