Raging Waters in San Jose goes under
Raging Waters in San Jose is closing permanently after operating for nearly four decades. Photo by Julia Forrest.

    Surf rock echoed from the gates of Raging Waters amusement park in San Jose today, but no one was around to hear it.

    The water park in East San Jose has shut down after 38 years. The 23-acre theme park originally opened its doors in 1985 and housed 14 water slides and a 350,000-gallon wave pool.

    The park was a place where residents like Emily Castilleja spent their summers growing up and later brought their kids to escape the heat.

    “Hearing that it’s closing down is really such a bummer, especially now since this past year it’s been hotter than ever,” Castilleja, 30, told San José Spotlight.

    Raging Waters first opened in San Jose in 1985. Photo courtesy of Palace Entertainment.

    District 8 Councilmember Domingo Candelas said the closure surprised him and the city: the park was on year 39 of its 40-year lease. He said he grew up going to the park and noted it has been a hub for employing young adults during the summer.

    “I remember having plenty of memories at Raging Waters as a kid and it’s definitely going to be a missed memory that I have,” Candelas told San José Spotlight.

    Candelas said the city is talking to Palace Entertainment, which owns the amusement park and 24 others across the nation, about an exit strategy. He said the city is already soliciting new ideas and programs for the facility.

    Under a Facebook post by Palace Entertainment announcing the closure, one user, Lisa Sanford, said she was upset to see the park shutter.

    “So sad to hear this,” Sanford wrote. “Thank you for the many years of fun and memories for me and my family.”

    Palace Entertainment has owned Raging Waters since 2002. The closing of the San Jose location comes one year after the Sacramento location closed.

    “We are thankful for the San Jose community and for our outstanding team members for helping us bring Northern California’s largest water park to life for nearly four decades,” Lynsey Winters, Palace Entertainment spokesperson, told San José Spotlight.

    Raging Waters was the only theme park in town besides Great America, which is closing in the next decade. Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which owns California’s Great America in Santa Clara, announced last June that it is selling the 46-year-old property for $310 million to San Francisco-based Prologis, a national real estate firm. Great America will remain open for up to 11 years before closing permanently, company officials said.

    Contact Julia Forrest at [email protected] or follow @juliaforrest35 on Twitter.

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