Typhoon Texas opening date delayed due to pandemic; reopening pending governor's orders

Typhoon Texas
Typhoon Texas initially anticipated reopening Memorial Day weekend, which has since been delayed. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Typhoon Texas initially anticipated reopening Memorial Day weekend, which has since been delayed. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)

During Pflugerville Community Development Corp.'s May 20 meeting, Typhoon Texas Chief Financial Officer Ray DeLaughter confirmed the outdoor water park would not be opening Memorial Day weekend due to the pandemic. DeLaughter and Ty Weitzel, the park's general manager, discussed current reopening strategies following a question posed by PCDC Board Member Jeff Coleman.

DeLaughter said Typhoon Texas has been working closely with Gov. Greg Abbott's task force, Chief of Staff Luis Saenz and the state Legislature to help push for the water park industry.

"Your guess is as good as mine," DeLaughter said, in response to Coleman's question on an estimated opening date.

With other businesses and industry sectors reopening throughout Texas at limited capacity—including restaurants, malls, gyms and office buildings—DeLaughter said he believes the water park does not pose a greater threat for coronavirus contraction. DeLaughter cited Typhoon Texas' outdoor venue format, open air environment and chlorinated water as reassurances of the park's safety.

DeLaughter said Typhoon Texas has revisited and updated its operational plans in accordance to the pandemic, with Weitzel adding staff are abiding by all state and local ordinances. Weitzel said staff will wear face masks in air-conditioned spaces, as approved by Austin Public Health, while lifeguards will have the choice to wear masks while not in the water.

All cashiers will wear face masks, with food handlers using both masks and gloves, Weitzel said. He added that all tables and furniture at the water park will be positioned in a social distancing friendly manner.

Following news Typhoon Texas would not open Memorial Day weekend, DeLaughter said he and water park leadership are hoping to reopen the weekend of May 29. DeLaughter said there have been discussions outside of Typhoon Texas regarding a June reopening date for water parks.

DeLaughter said Typhoon Texas expects to lose some money due to the pandemic, but is aiming to lose as minimal of revenue as possible while still ensuring the safety of its employees, staff and patrons.

“This is going to be a very difficult year for Typhoon Texas, both in Pflugerville and Houston," DeLaughter said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a clarification on the site's pending reopening date.
By Kelsey Thompson
Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from Upstate New York, Kelsey relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.


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