Construction on Big Rivers—the water park planned at the Grand Texas Theme Park—will begin in August, Grand Texas CEO Monty Galland said.
Construction on the water park at Grand Texas, which is located near the intersection of Hwy. 59 and Hwy. 242 just north of Kingwood, could be completed as early as spring 2018, he said.
The updated timeline for Big Rivers comes after another round of delays. In January, Grand Texas officials projected the park to open this summer.
Delays were caused after the water park’s initial lender backed out; the oil and gas downturn scared lenders from making large investments in Houston, Galland said. Construction delays on infrastructure projects also pushed the project back, he said.
Now, the $9 million in infrastructure projects surrounding Big Rivers are complete and lending for the water park has been secured. Despite the delays and setbacks, Galland said he is confident the project is on track.
“My whole adult life I’ve been in real estate and real estate development, and it was always transactional,” he said. “People ask me ‘Well what’s my exit strategy?’ I always say ‘A pine box.’ I will be here for the next 30 years. We bought this land for one purpose, and that was to build a theme park.”
Once construction is completed next spring, the developer will shift its focus to the Grand Texas Theme Park, a sportsplex and a factory outlet mall similar in size and style to Tanger Outlets in Texas City.
Construction on the factory outlet mall will begin as soon as Grand Texas is able to lease 60 percent of the property, Galland said.
“The water park creates another attraction, in addition to SpeedSportz,” Galland said. “The factory outlets creates a destination as well as a tax base and all of that contributes to the infrastructure being completed.”
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 the history of Texas, 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 Houston theme park that closed in 2005, he said.
Big Rivers will be a 40-acre water park inspired by Texas rivers. In addition to the theme park, water park and Speedsportz Racing Park, Grand Texas will feature several other retail and entertainment elements, such as four hotels and 450,000 square feet of retail and dining in the park’s Downtown Texas section.
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 in 2016.
The kart-racing park features two European-style kart racing tracks. One of the tracks hosts professional kart races and international events, while the other services patrons for everyday use.
Grand Texas also 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.
• Big Rivers completion—spring 2018
• Grand Texas Sportsplex completion—winter 2018
• Grove Factory outlet mall completion—spring 2019
• Grand Texas Theme Park completion—spring 2020