After setbacks and delays, a water park, an RV park and a kart-racing track are under construction at Grand Texas—a 632-acre amusement park development in New Caney at the intersection of Hwy. 59 and Hwy. 242.
Speedsportz Racing Park and Grand Texas RV Resort are projected to be complete this fall after heavy spring rain and infrastructure construction delayed the projected summer completion, Grand Texas CEO Monty Galland said. Big Rivers, the water park within Grand Texas, is on track to open by spring 2017. Once Big Rivers is complete, construction will begin on Grand Texas’ namesake-bearing 200-acre amusement park.
Grand Texas was originally slated for completion in 2015, but delays in infrastructure funding, inclement weather and engineering difficulties pushed its opening back, according to Galland.
“People are seeing the clearing, they’re seeing the construction,” he said. “One response is, ‘We’ll believe it when we see it.’ That’s fine. Just let us get stuff done.”
The Grand Texas Theme Park will feature five roller coasters, dozens of rides and an emphasis on live entertainment, Galland said.
The theme park will be about the same size as Six Flags AstroWorld—a 57-acre theme park that was located in southwest Houston until it closed in 2005. Galland said the park will continue to expand after opening in 2020.
“Houston is a huge marketplace, and as wonderful as it is to go down to Galveston or Kemah, for a family in—say The Woodlands or Kingwood—it can take an hour and a half,” Galland said. “We really feel like being in the north allows us to reach more people that aren’t being served.”
At build-out, Speedsportz Racing Park will feature two European-style kart racing tracks. One of the tracks will host professional kart races and international events, while the other will service patrons for everyday use, Speedsportz President and co-owner Alan Rudolph said.
“Most of the public doesn’t know about [kart racing]yet,” Rudolph said. “This is going to be new for everyone. It’s a really good experience. The great thing about [Grand Texas] is location. … I’ve been racing my whole life, and there’s no other racing facility that’s within 15 minutes of an international airport.”
In addition, Grand Texas will feature a factory outlet mall, a sportsplex that includes 10 multiuse sports fields, four hotels and 450,000 square feet of retail and dining in the Downtown Texas section upon completion.
Galland said he believes Grand Texas will be the entertainment component that is missing in north Houston.
“Of the top 10 tourist attractions in Houston, nine of them are located south of the I-10 freeway,” he said. “Although the majority of the population lives south of the I-10 freeway, the growth in development and families moving in is to the north. We live in a great area, and the one glaring absence is large-scale entertainment like Grand Texas. We want stuff for our families. That’s kind of how we got on this journey.”