Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Nut Tree in Bloom

Nut Tree in Bloom
By Elizabeth Wright

VACAVILLE -An old farm and tourist stop is a destination again, especially if you're in the market for a new computer.

New stores are gradually opening near the Nut Tree Family Park, in the shopping center off East Monte Vista Avenue in Vacaville. The development began as a family farm and fruit stand 85 years ago, and grew to become a popular roadside stop, including a restaurant, railroad, toy shop and, for a time, a giant walnut tree.

Now a Best Buy, the electronics retailer, is already open on a redeveloped part of the Nut Tree site, and later this month, several other chain stories will begin filling some of the 325,000 square feet of retail space. Beverages & More, the wine and liquor chain, has plans for a series of opening events beginning at 9 a.m. Aug. 18, and PetSmart, a pet supply store, will open its doors Aug. 28, with a formal opening Sept. 9. A Sport Chalet will open this month as well.

A Borders bookstore is also planned, and in the future, town homes and office space will also be a part of the development.

As for the Nut Tree Family Park itself, the small amusement park across from the shops will include train rides, a small roller coaster, bumper cars and a carrousel. Most rides are completed, and marketing director Ilana Minkoff expects the park will open in mid-to-late September.

"Things are progressing along nicely," she said.

The park is also in the process of hiring for 125 positions in areas such as gardening, maintenance, operating rides and party planning.

For more information, visit the Web site at www.nuttreeusa.com.

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