Sylvan Beach Park pavilion to get new operator, undergo repairs; supporters fear for historic building’s future

Sylvan Beach Park pavilion exterior
(Courtesy Friends of Sylvan Beach Park & Pavilion)

(Courtesy Friends of Sylvan Beach Park & Pavilion)

Image description
(Courtesy Friends of Sylvan Beach Park & Pavilion)
Image description
(Courtesy Friends of Sylvan Beach Park & Pavilion)
The contract between Harris County and the operator of Sylvan Beach Park’s historic pavilion has been terminated, which will lead to the cancellation of planned weddings and other celebrations. The move has pavilion supporters fearing the pavilion will be closed indefinitely.

Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia and his office said this is not true and that the pavilion will remain open as the county looks for a new operator. The existing operator, Party and Reception Center, will run the pavilion for another six months, officials said.

The pavilion, located in La Porte, is a popular destination for Bay Area residents as well as other visitors, who use it for dances, weddings and other events. It is on the National Historic Registry and is a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark.

Harris County commissioners voted unanimously Nov. 12 to end the county’s contract with Party and Reception Center. The county selected the company in 2013 to operate the pavilion, which the county owns, said Ted Powell, president of Friends of Sylvan Beach Park & Pavilion.

Garcia said at the Nov. 12 meeting the contract expired in 2018 but that the operator was allowed to continue running the pavilion month-to-month because the previous administration did not want to terminate the contract just before the potential election of new commissioners. The contract is costing the county money, which effectively means taxpayers are subsidizing the operator's business, Garcia said.


“Because this contract has run its life, we should have been through this process a long time ago,” he said. “The county’s lost a significant amount of money.”

The county will put out a request for proposals for an operator to take over in six months. Party and Reception Center can apply to be the operator again. In the meantime, the county will address needed repairs at the pavilion, such as replacing a chiller, fixing the deck and making the building ADA-compliant, Garcia said.

“Those are things that do have to happen, but the instruction to my team is to do everything we can [to be] as nondisruptive to existing events that are planned [as possible],” he said. “That’s the commitment. Whether we can achieve that, I’m not sure yet, but that’s a commitment.”

Raj Shafaii, who operates the pavilion for Party and Reception Center, said during the meeting that this was not what he was told. Shafaii said county officials told him Nov. 4 his contract would be terminated, the pavilion would be shut down and the county would make the building ADA-compliant before deciding what to do with it.

“This place is not being shut down,” Garcia assured concerned residents at court.

“That’s what we’re going to hold him to,” Powell said.

Even if the county does not intend to shut down the pavilion, Powell is concerned the county will not find a new operator within six months. If one is not found before Party and Reception Center vacates the pavilion, it will be closed, Powell said. Regardless, any pavilion events, such as weddings and quinceaneras, scheduled more than six months out have to be canceled, he said.

“This is a county-made train wreck, basically,” Powell said. “It doesn’t smell right.”

Garcia did not return a request for comment before deadline.
SHARE THIS STORY

<

MOST RECENT

Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee
Houston vying to become host city for 2026 FIFA World Cup

Houston is among 17 U.S. cities in the race to host the World Cup and is competing against other major cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas, for the nod.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses the Texas General Land Office at a Dec. 11 public hearing. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston area leaders call for more federal flood dollars at public meeting

Officials expressed concerns about proposed limitations for how federal funds will be allocated throughout the state.

Tavores Dewayne Henderson, 21, was arrested on charges of running over and killing a Nassau Bay police sergeant. (Courtesy ABC13)
Fugitive in police sergeant's death taken into custody

A fugitive suspected of hitting and killing a Nassau Bay police sergeant has been captured at a home in southeast Houston, authorities said.

Sgt. Kaila Sullivan, Nassau Bay Police Department, Nassau Bay police death victim
UPDATE: Candlelight vigil to be held for Nassau Bay sergeant killed in line of duty

A man is suspected of striking Sgt. Kaila Sullivan with a vehicle, killing her.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
El Dorado Boulevard widening start date pushed back

The start date to widen El Dorado Boulevard in Clear Lake from two lanes to four has been delayed.

League City library, Helen Hall Library, library stock image photo
League City hosting town hall Dec. 12 about library needs

Now that consultants' recommendations to address League City's library needs are public, the city will host a town hall to gather feedback from residents.

City of Houston Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Davis, who currently holds the District B seat on the Houston City Council, addressed the Harris County Commissioners Court Dec. 3. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County considers legality, liability of removing Houston City Council Member District B race from Dec. 14 runoff ballot

Harris County commissioners have questions about the removal of the race for Houston City Council Member District B from the Dec. 14 runoff election and what it could mean for future elections.

The Greater Houston area is expected to see a net gain of 42,300 jobs in 2020. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Greater Houston region expected to see slower job growth in 2020

The Greater Houston area is expected to see a net gain of 42,300 jobs in 2020.

(Courtesy Dan's Pizza Co.)
Dan’s Pizza Wings ‘N’ Beer Deck opens in Kemah

The business has another location, Dan’s Pizza Co., in Webster.

The Hue Salon now open in League City

The business specializes in hair-coloring services, styles and cuts women’s and men’s hair, performs facial waxing services and more.

(Courtesy Tiff's Treats)
Tiff’s Treats opens in Webster

Tiff’s Treats bakes and delivers cookies and brownies on demand.

(Courtesy Bowlero Webster)
AMF Alpha Lanes changes name to Bowlero Webster, celebrates with grand reopening

The business feature 40 bowling lanes, an arcade, pool tables, air hockey, a sports bar, a lounge, a pro shop and more.

Back to top