"Tracy is giving a Los Gatos developer a shot to build a $1.2 billion tourist destination four times bigger than Disneyland.
"The city gave an exclusive right to negotiate for 628 acres to James Rogers and Spirit of California LLC. Spirit of California is the name of the proposed theme park.
"Rogers envisions hordes of visitors flocking to a huge mosaic of attractions north of Tracy: an amusement park, race track, casino, hotel, convention center, wine-tasting center, Delta marina and more.
"'A lot of kids who go to college don't come back,' Rogers said. ''There's nothing to do in Tracy, that's the most common comment I've heard there.'
"'Spirit of California will fix that', he said. 'Everything that happens in California can happen at this destination,' he said. 'And it's going to be exciting and entertaining.' The project originated in 2008 with the closure of the Altamont raceway. A couple of Tracy entrepreneurs approached the city about building a race track on Holly Sugar plant land the city bought after the plant closed in 2000.
"Rogers came aboard, saw Tracy's connection to the Bay Area, even water access, and decided to proposed a vastly bigger project.
"'Why don't we expand the thing into a destination project and the synergy that's created by having all these different venues makes all of them more successful than they'd be on their own?' he said he reasoned."