REDWOOD CITY (KPIX 5) — Kids of all ages are flocking this week to the Malibu Grand Prix in Redwood City to enjoy the mini golf, bumper boats and race cars one last time. After more than 30 years, the family fun center is closing on Sunday.
From bumper boats and birthdays, to 12 year old Evan White’s first big hole-in-one on Tuesday, the Malibu Grand Prix has been a favorite among generations of Bay Area kids.
City Council Member Ian Bain told KPIX 5 his family has made three trips in the past week. “We’re trying to do as much as we can before it goes away,” Bain said.
Visitors are racing to the Malibu Grand Prix for one last bumper boat ride, one last putt, one last at bat, and one last lap on the race track at the family fun center that has been around since 1979.
The center will close for the last time at 8pm on Sunday night.
Since earlier this year, its owner, Palace Entertainment, had been on a month-to-month lease with property owner, Granite Rock.
“The lease had come up,” said Malibu Grand Prix General Manager Craig Stieglitz, “We worked on an extension, (but) just weren’t able to come to any kind of agreement to allow us to stay.”
Marty Edelson of San Francisco has been coming to the family entertainment center for the last 33 years, since he was a teenager. Now he brings his own children.
“We’d just have a lot of friends here, and a lot of bonding with each other,” Edelson said.
11-year-old Andrea Smith and her 13 year old sister Hailey came with their mother from San Jose.
“You can drive without having a license. It’s fun,” she said. The sisters agreed it was more fun than a video game.
Their mother said there are fewer places for outdoor family fun once the Malibu Grand Prix closes its doors.
“I’m sad to see this place go,” said Michelle Smith. “We’ll have to go far to find someplace similar to this.”
Many said they will miss the variety of activities, from the arcade to the adrenaline rush from racing on the Bay Area’s largest single outdoor track.
“Can I take one home?” asked Darline Galbadores, who has spent birthdays at Malibu with her cousins.
While she can’t take a car home, there are still a few days before the racing ends.
It is unclear what will replace the Malibu Grand Prix once it closes. The 14 acre site located along Highway 101 is zoned for industrial use.
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