Roanoke approves alcohol sales at Hawaiian Falls water park

Water slides at a water park
A code change was approved March 9 by Roanoke City Council to allow the sale of alcohol at Hawaiian Falls. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

A code change was approved March 9 by Roanoke City Council to allow the sale of alcohol at Hawaiian Falls. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

Hawaiian Falls will be able to sell alcoholic beverages when it reopens this summer after Roanoke City Council amended a city ordinance during a March 9 meeting.

Hawaiian Falls Managing Director Ryan Forson said the park will have a designated area for alcohol purchases as well as a two-drink limit per customer. Staff in the designated sales area will receive appropriate training, he said.

“We're 100% committed to [that family-friendly] environment, and we're building our processes around that,” Forson said.

The change was approved by City Council in a 4-1 vote. Council Member Brian Darby was the sole vote against the change.

“In the sense of how it's going to affect the city from a safety concern [or an] operation standpoint, I have no concerns with that,” Darby said. “But my constituency is ... questioning the decision to allow it. Because I represent those voices out there, I felt it was my duty to at least voice that [concern].”


According to city documents, Hawaiian Falls requested a mixed beverage license from the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission. However, alcohol sales are not allowed in public city of Roanoke parks, which necessitated the new ordinance. The ordinance applies only to the Hawaiian Falls water park, and alcoholic beverages will remain prohibited in other city parks.

Concerns from residents regarding the safety implications of alcohol sales at the family-oriented water park prompted city staff to reach out to several neighboring public safety agencies.

“Based on the responses received and dialogue with our public safety officials, it appears there are no concerns as a result of alcohol being sold in water parks,” a city staff report stated.

By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.