Dixon Corn Maze Forced to Close Concession Stand Due to County’s Costly Demands

DIXON -- The owners of a Dixon corn maze say a disagreement with Solano County has forced them to stop serving food and coffee at their pumpkin patch.

At Cool Patch Pumpkins, visitors looking for a cup of joe and something to eat were disappointed to find signs turning them away at the concession booths.

"It’s a shame we can’t have coffee because I was looking forward to a snack and a coffee," said visitor Ronald Silva.

The sign says, "Because we refuse to pave with asphalt the entrance and exit to the pumpkin patch, the county will not give us a food/coffee permit."

"So I don’t get why it has to be paved to be selling food," said visitor Mary Vemema.

Cool Patch Pumpkins owner Matt Cooley explains that after running the corn maze for 17 years last year they had to move locations and pay an encroachment permit.

"Which means as you come off the road they want us to pave a little way so it doesn’t hurt their road when the cars come off that," Cooley told FOX40.

Last year, Cooley says that fee was $2,400 and he didn’t have to pave.

This year he said they wanted a "$10,000 refundable fee and they waited to tell me this two days before we were going to open."

Cooley said it’s a fee he simply cannot afford, especially considering his business only runs 40 days a year.

Aside from the cost, another reason the owners say they’re not going to pave the entrance and exit is they do not even own the land, they rent it. They say they may not even be at the same location next year.

"The lease is up this year," Cooley said. "If I get hassled enough, they won’t let me come back.”

Cooley says until he fixes the road, the county will not send out health inspectors for his coffee and food booths.

"So I just said, 'Fine, we just won’t have coffee and food," Cooley said.

In the end, it will be Cooley’s customers who lose out.

"It would be nice to have coffee, especially if it was night time. A nice cup of coffee walking around here at night, yeah," said visitor Brandi Woodards.

FOX40 did reach out to the county’s health department but have not heard back, likely due to the holiday. Meanwhile, Cooley says the county already forced him to move the parking lot and to plant corn between the pumpkin patch and the freeway so drivers will not slow down to look at the maze.

He says next year, although he doesn’t want to, he may move to a different county.