Members, Log In. Not a member? Sign Up

October 1, 2001

Bonfante Gardens Theme Park Suddenly Ends 2001 Season

Gilroy, CA -- Northern California's newest theme park, Bonfante Gardens, suddenly closed its doors Monday, September 17. The decision to close early came after an investor pulled out and projections of a marginal winter season. The park was scheduled to operate on weekends through November and a Holiday Lights Festival was planned for the month of December.

Michael Bonfante, founder and developer of Bonfante Gardens Theme Park in Gilroy, said that he's extremely optimistic that the 75-acre horticultural-inspired theme park that bears his name will re-open as scheduled in the spring of 2002.

"I made the decision to close the park early based on projections for a marginally-profitable winter season," Bonfante explained. "I've elected to conserve capital, concentrate on future funding requirements, and complete additional attractions rather than deplete resources by keeping the park open during times of economic uncertainty."

Bonfante Gardens' park management has arrangements with other local parks and attractions to accommodate 2001 Season Pass holders. Six Flags Marine World offering free admission through the end of October to any Bonfante Gardens pass holder.

The park also stated that 2001 Season Passes will also be honored during the beginning months of the 2002 season. Individual day tickets currently held will be honored during spring weekends prior to Memorial Day.

After 23 years of planning and development, Michael Bonfante opened Phase I of his highly anticipated, 75-acre Bonfante Gardens Theme Park on June 15, 2001. Over the course of those 23 years, over $100 million has been invested in the park including the proceeds of a $27,920,000 bond offering in January 2001.

"We have worked very hard to bring this great educational family-oriented park to a reality. We opened the park in mid-June, one month later than we had anticipated, and did not complete all of the attractions scheduled for Phase I until mid-July," Bonfante continued. "Even with these disruptions and a shorter summer season, the response we received from our 280,000 guests who visited the park during that time was overwhelmingly positive."

For further information about Bonfante Gardens Theme Park, please visit