Construction ramps up at Grand Texas

Construction ramps up at Grand Texas Grand Texas Theme Park could provide some much-needed entertainment options in east Montgomery County in 2017 despite previous delays and construction challenges.

Construction has concluded on the first two elements of the 632-acre entertainment venue, including Grand Texas RV Park and Speedsportz Racing Park, which opened near the intersection of Hwy. 59 and Hwy. 242 in August and December, respectively, Grand Texas officials said.

Now, preliminary infrastructure work for Grand Texas’ water park Big Rivers is under construction on the site. Big Rivers is slated to be completed before the start of the summer, Grand Texas CEO Monty Galland said.

Inclement weather, potential construction mishaps and the scope of a development this large create variables that make predicting an opening date difficult, Grand Texas Creative Director Lance Martin said.

“We’ve got a big [goal] ahead of us—that’s trying to do everything right before we do anything wrong,” Martin said. “That’s why it’s taking so long. We have a lot of tasks that people don’t see.”

Park elements

The Grand Texas Theme Park will feature five roller coasters, dozens of rides and an emphasis on live entertainment, Galland said.

The park’s theme is based on Texas history, which includes Spanish, Mexican and German influences. At its opening, Grand Texas will be about the same size as Six Flags AstroWorld—the 57-acre theme park that closed in 2005, he said.

Construction on Grand Texas’ namesake amusement park and a sports complex is expected to begin when Big Rivers—a 40-acre water park—is completed, Galland said. Construction on the theme park could take two years.

In addition, Grand Texas will feature several retail and entertainment elements, such as a factory outlet mall, four hotels and 450,000 square feet of retail and dining space in the park’s Downtown Texas section.

While the completion of the mall is 30-36 months away, construction on Downtown Texas is expected to begin when the theme park is completed.

“A region like this needs a big entertainment facility,” Martin said.

Construction ramps up at Grand Texas

Local effects

For the east Montgomery County area, the theme park could create more economic demand, said Jenna Armstrong, president and CEO of the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The prospect of [Grand Texas] is huge for [the Greater Houston area], and that effect is going to be felt in the Lake Houston area,” Armstrong said.

Demand for housing in the area is expected to increase once major park elements open, said Brian Gibson, a community development manager For Friendswood Development. The company is developing more than 4,000 homes in Royal Brook and Tavola, two subdivisions near Kingwood, he said.

“We believe it will be a positive factor driving traffic to the area,” Gibson said.

However, after project delays and previous theme parks pitched on this tract of land that did not come to fruition, residents and business owners remain cautiously optimistic, Armstrong said.

Grand Texas was originally slated for completion in 2015 but was delayed because of the design limitations of the original engineering firm and delays in utility hookups, Galland said.  Meanwhile, inclement weather caused delays in 2015 and 2016, Martin said.

Transportation projects

Grand Texas finished construction of Speed Street—a quarter-mile road that created an entrance to Speedsportz Racing Park— in late November.

The $1.2 million project is the first phase of more than 2 miles of public roads that will be a part of Grand Texas at build-out, Grand Texas Communications Manager Jessica Marquez said. The developer expects to spend $3.5 million on road projects, she said.

While it is not directly related to the amusement park, the Texas Department of Transportation will expand Hwy. 242 to improve safety near the theme park in the future, TxDOT spokesperson Deidrea George said.

The $100 million project would widen Hwy. 242 from two to four lanes between Needham Drive in Conroe and Hwy. 59. The expansion could receive funding in 2023 and includes an overpass at FM 1314, which could receive funding as early as 2018, George said.


Pride Houston Parade
Pride Houston fall parade and festival canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

The downtown annual parade and festival, scheduled for Sept. 25, will be replaced by a Montrose block party and other events, organizers announced July 25.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

The office is located at 208 McCown St., Ste. 104, Montgomery. (Courtesty Tish Zitzow)
'We fight so that an insurance company doesn't make health decisions': Tish Zitzow opens office in Montgomery

"These decisions should be between the patient and the doctor, not an insurance company," Tish Zitzow said.

The event returns for the third time this year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Taco Tequila and Music Fest returns to Conroe Oct. 2

There will be more than 30 taco vendors, artisan vendors, and frozen and hand crafted margaritas.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Average testing positivity rate nears 10% after sharp increase

Over 97% of people nationwide who are being hospitalized because of the disease are unvaccinated.

As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'The vaccines we have are effective against all the variants out there': Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass discusses variants, vaccinations

As Houston Methodist identified its first case of the lambda variant July 19, Dr. Glass believes vaccines can handle known variants.

Councilmember Julie Davis, second from right, argued for a 20% homestead exemption. (Screenshot via Montgomery City Council livestream)
Montgomery adopts 20% tax break on homestead property taxes

Some tension arose when Council Member Julie Davis said that the city has spent thousands of dollars on “goats and walkie-talkies."

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

Residents voiced concerned about the proposed Colliers Pointe development at Conroe's City Council workshop July 21. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Concern over Conroe's proposed Colliers Pointe development continues

Residents raised concerns about safety, flooding and access roads to the community.

A COVID-19 vaccine dose is administered to a person's arm
Montgomery County sees July increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County climbed above 1,000 for the first time in two months, just after June recorded the lowest active cases since 2020.