The long-awaited Quarry Park Adventures, a major ziplining, rock-climbing, elevated rope course theme park in the heart of Rocklin, will finally be open to the public this weekend, ushering in what supporters hope will be a boost to the local economy and a budding downtown.
Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, the attractions — the vast majority of which sits in the granite basin of a former mining quarry — will be open on weekends to the general public. Corporate or school groups can book weekday sessions.
“There’s no other adventure park like it, this is run more like your stereotypical theme park, like a Six Flags,” said operations manager Stephen Wurster. “You don’t have to travel a couple hours to go do stuff like this.”
Park and city officials had hoped the attractions would be open in time for summer. But park president David Busch, who has worked at almost two dozen theme parks, said they’ve taken the construction hiccups and state inspection delays in stride. The park is now decked out with pumpkins, fake cobwebs and autumnal decor, and staff members hope the cooler weather will make for an overall more enjoyable experience.
“There’s no book for this,” Busch said. “It’s never been done before.”
The park’s attractions are expected to draw 120,000 visitors a year, according to city planning reports, and will be the crown jewel of a major redevelopment project in downtown Rocklin. City spokesman Michael Young said the new park already has developers interested in vacant and underused lots in the area.
“Before Quarry Park, it really sat dormant for a hundred years. … We never really had a vibrant downtown like many other cities,” Young said. “(This park) could bring in residents to downtown, but also bring in visitors, who will spend dollars at the park and the businesses surrounding the area.”
On Thursday, students from Antelope Meadows Elementary School and American River Charter School got a sneak peek at the refurbished quarry. The park also boasts a maze run, freefall jumps, lake paddle-boating, a 60-foot waterfall and a rope jungle gym for younger children.
“Me and my friends played this game called Michael Myers, where someone has to chase us down while we’re running through the maze,” said 10-year-old Jason Nguyen, a student at Antelope Meadows.
“It was a lot of hand work, and like in a restaurant, you have to work fast,” said fellow Antelope Meadows student Katrina Johnson, 9, of the elevated rope course. “Some people,” including both her peers and staffers, “were helping each other out there” when she got scared or nervous.
All-access passes costs $44.99 a piece, and give visitors access to one of two 3.5-hour sessions in the park. The first runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and another from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The hour break gives staff members a chance to reset and inspect equipment, said sales director Sharon Thompson. Patrons who wish to do activities requiring a harness must be 48 inches tall and between 70 and 250 pounds.
Busch emphasized the park isn’t just for young children and families — by April, officials hope to open up a full food service area and beer garden, as well as an entertainment space for concerts.
“It’s impressive,” said Cool resident Lena Bearden, a parent volunteer with American River Charter School, as two kids in orange helmets whizzed overhead on zip lines. “We’ve been to ropes courses where they build in the trees, but this is a whole different level.”