Quarry Park Adventures opens (again) in Rocklin, aiming to put early ‘challenges’ in the past

After months of inactivity, Quarry Park Adventures in Rocklin reopened Friday, as the city and the park’s new operator attempt to shake off past controversies to ensure the multimillion-dollar zip-line and rock-climbing amusement park succeeds.

Under new management, Quarry Park Adventures will open seven days a week year-round from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., including during the winter, with the exceptions of Christmas, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving. The park will also close during high rain and high wind.

Rocklin awarded a $1.3 million, four-year contract last month to Adventure Operations LLC, an affiliate of Bonsai Design, which built the adventure elements of the park. The operator will receive 100 percent of the park’s revenue until it exceeds operating expenses and repays any money borrowed from the city; then the two entities will split the revenue 50-50.

“It’s been a wild and fun month just getting all of our staff hired, trained and of course prepping the physical space to reopen,” said the park’s marketing director, Abby Burt.

The roughly $13 million zip-line, rock-climbing amusement park and surrounding facilities have been closed since January, when the city terminated its 15-year contract with the previous operator, a subsidiary of El Dorado-based Legacy Family Entertainment.

In February, the city filed a lawsuit against Legacy Family Entertainment’s affiliate group, alleging the company’s president “conned the city” after informing Rocklin officials the park would not meet promised revenue or attendance numbers.

David Busch, the president of Legacy Family Entertainment, stated the allegations were a “fabrication,” and that the city had failed to provide all facilities and elements promised in the two parties’ April 2018 contract. Busch told the Bee in February “it was not a park anybody was proud of.”

“There were a few challenges and the operator was not living up to things in the contract,” Young said. “As soon as we knew about these things, we moved as quickly as possible to bring in the right folks.”

The city’s lawsuit against Legacy Family Entertainment’s affiliate group is ongoing, Young said.

Tickets range from $19.99 to $149.99 depending on the ages of the participants and the activity package they select. Tickets are reservation-based, meaning guests booking online or in person sign up for a time slot to use different elements.

“There’s now a really great system in place for people to know when their adventure starts and ends,” Burt said. “We know you’re coming if you’ve reserved, we’ll have your harness waiting for you and hey, you can make a dinner reservation afterward.”

The park is also honoring any previously sold season passes with a proof of purchase, according to Burt.

One of those season pass holders is Tim Appleby, a Rocklin resident with three children, whose family never got around to using their $90 tickets because of the park’s grand opening delay.

“We were disappointed because we were basically looking forward to the original opening date,” he said. “It was supposedly supposed to open July and then it became August and then October” and by then, summer was gone.

Since the closure, the city has built fully serviced bathrooms, and Young said the city is hoping to consistently secure food trucks that can operate on the property. On Friday, Made in the Shade, a soft serve ice cream truck, was at the park.

“The park is really important to the quality of life here in Rocklin,” Young said. City officials hope the park will revitalize the downtown area, ushering in new housing and businesses.

Rocklin and the operators expect about 50,000 visitors to the park annually. That’s down from the 120,000 visitors previously proposed in city planning reports.

“They’re going to spend money in surrounding businesses and those taxes will go back to the city and fund quality services,” Young said.

The park can hold up to 1,000 guests at a time, Burt said.

For Friday’s reopening day, Robert Romo drove from the Bay Area with his children to check out the park with his sister’s family. He said the park was “really cool” and believes it may attract other out-of-towners like himself.

“They may have a rock wall” in their area, Romo said, “but they don’t have zip-lines where you could go as far as you go here, all these other activities, they don’t have anything like that at other theme parks.”

Citrus Heights resident Sarah Short brought her grandchildren to the park because they are on spring break. Short said they enjoyed their time, but she worries that the park may not be successful operating during school hours and through the region’s hot summers.

“A lot of people you’ve got baseball and gymnastics so I don’t know,” Short said. “I think it’s great they have an opportunity to go somewhere, the little ones.”

“You think you could come for birthday parties?” asked her grandson Emmery Zamudio, 11. “Yeah, that would be great,” Short replied.

Emmery said he’d “probably” want a birthday at the park, and is looking forward to getting big enough to use the park’s main zip-line.

The park will host a celebration April 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., including ticket giveaways, live music, a zip-line race, and an opportunity for the public to walk through the quarry for free.

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Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks covers Sacramento County and the cities and suburbs beyond the capital. She’s previously worked at The New York Times and NPR, and is a former Bee intern. She graduated from UC Berkeley, where she was the managing editor of The Daily Californian.
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