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After Unanimous Vote, Water Slides are Returning to Manteca

MANTECA -- Water slides are returning to Manteca after city leaders in voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the development of a Great Wolf Lodge.

Almost 15 years ago, the owners of the Manteca Waterslides park closed their business due to rising costs. After that, for nearly a decade, there has been an effort to bring a similar attraction back to the city. Tuesday night, that effort paid off.

The Great Wolf Lodge in Manteca will join more than a dozen others in North America but will be only the second California location.

The more than half-million-square-foot resort will sit right off Highway 120 and will feature a rock wall, miniature golf, bowling and, of course, an indoor water park.

Developers are hoping to break ground on the 500-room hotel later this summer.

City leaders hope the development will kickstart more growth.

"This is just such a game-changer in our 100th year of being a city that it's hard to forecast what the next 50 or 100 will look like, just because of something like this kind of a project but it's going to be huge," City Manager Tim Ogden said.

Ogden says the $100 million project is expected to bring 500,000 annual visitors and about 500 new jobs to the city.

"That's a lot of regional tourism," he said. "That's a lot of business opportunities coming this way."

The goal is to surround the new resort with other family-friendly attractions.

"It's a family city. We want to work with people. We want to be involved with people. We want to have their children come here," Mayor Steve DeBrum said. "The opportunity that we will be able to bring in more police, more fire, more businesses."

City leaders hope the resort will be open in two years.