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New Park in Houston Area (Grand Texas Theme Park)


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The Astros still manage to sell tickets. I know its a shock to some. The Sugarland Skeeters actually do decent in ticket sales.

 

The Astros game attendance has declined greatly, plus, we lost some really good players; my family used to be real big on Biggio, retired, and Berkman but since they've both moved on to greener pastures, we've sort of lost interest (along with a lot of the Houston area). I can't recall the last time I went to an Astros game. We've moved on over to the Skeeters; MUCH better games.

 

If this park is anything like the concept art, it will be simply amazing. I'm very excited for this; if Greezed Lightnin' rides again it will be a huge hit for the park. When Astroworld closed, a lot of parents were disappointed that their kids wouldn't be able to ride the rides they did as kids, and now there's a good chance the ride could be around for generations to come.

 

I'm still trying to come to a conclusion on whether the revival of Greezed Lightnin' was the plan all along or if this was in response to their Facebook page. Literally every post, someone comments "Bring back Greezed Lightnin'".

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A few notes:

 

 

I love the theme and layout of this project. I think it's going to look fantastic. However, I wonder if they shouldn't start with only half the lake developed and use the expansion areas behind Plaza Feliz for the rest of the construction. By developing the entire lakeshore initially, they risk all expansions feeling out of place and non-cohesive with the existing park.

 

Somebody has given much thought, time and research to this project, thus far. It's apparent in the layout as a whole as well as ride placement and amenities as a whole. I think it's great to put the farm on the rear side of the park and draw the customers who may be interested in more than rides. This will increase spending, I think.

 

Stage Coach Rides should be a neat thing. Is another park doing this or anything similar? They've placed a depot as well as a train station and boat rides platform near the front. Hopefully that will entice people straight to other areas of the park, alleviating potential congestion near the paddle boat.

 

I noticed there's not a very strong kiddy ride selection. It seems they are going to make up for that in the family department.

 

I won't be surprised to see a GCI Woodie and a B&M in this park. It seems like it will be first class.

 

Based on placement, I do believe GREEZED LIGHTNIN' was an afterthought. However, placement could also be due to it's theming not fitting the other areas. I'm sure a treasured ride like that will be able to pull people down a long trail, right? I think it would be neat to see a major amusement park open in a market where a major amusement park folded for whatever reason and have a section featuring treasured rides from the former park. Think your consumers would be responsive as well. But in with the new, right?

 

Just my thoughts.

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That looks absolutely amazing. Just the thing Houston needs. Seems like a whole lot to put up in 2 years, though. Assuming this does come to fruition, we'll likely see all the small flat rides, the transport rides (boat, stagecoach, train), the kids' rides, and Greezed Lightning ready to go for the 2016 season, with the rest added in the following years. What they have planned on the concept art can certainly be done by 2020, and at that point it will be a great regional park. All speculative still, but they've got a solid plan. All the best to them; if they do get this up and running, we'll be there. We've been wanting to get back to Texas anyway.

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If this park does open by 2015, there are definitely gonna be some rides that aren't gonna open till 2016 or 2017. I think it would open with the 160 ft tall steel coaster, the 160 ft wooden coaster, and the kiddy coaster along with some flats. The mine train coaster could be a while due to all the theming that's supposed to go into it. Greezed' Lightning, if it is the original, would probably not open till 2016 by the earliest, due to all the refurb that's supposed to go into it. I don't know about you, but I would much rather see a Gerstlauer prototype shuttle loop open with the park in 2015 (if it does open in 2015) than having to wait for one to get refurbished.

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Here is a recent article On Grand Texas "Q&A: Grand Texas developer hopes theme park can grow for decades" It shouldn't be to much longer before we start to see groundbreaking on this.

 

A year ago, developer Monty Galland and a team scoured the Houston area for a perfect site for Houston’s next entertainment attraction.

 

He and Frank McCrady of the East Montgomery County Improvement District were quite impressed with a property in New Caney, along Interstate 69 and State Highway 242, as the spot for Grand Texas Entertainment District.

 

Earlier this month, the Grand Texas team unveiled its grand vision for the 640 acres, expanding its original theme park concept to a broader idea that includes a sportsplex and a water park.

 

Galland said the first part of the master plan to be delivered will likely be the water park, which is slated for April 2015. The developer is currently under contract with 22 more acres for future expansion, he said. He sat down with me this week to discuss the new development and how he became interested in the theme park attraction business.

 

What indicators show that Houston demands this type of development?

 

We have over 5.6 million residents within an hour’s drive of the site, but other than the Downtown Aquarium and the Houston Zoo, there are no other attractions within that area.

 

Grand Texas is not located on a large body of water, but what it lacks in water it makes up for in acres. It has the room to provide rides, shows and activities that are not possible in smaller or more congested areas. It is conveniently located to Kingwood, the Woodlands, Spring, Atascocita, Humble, Conroe and numerous other substantial communities that lack the type of entertainment available at Grand Texas.

 

What are your expectations for Grand Texas once it is completed?

 

I don’t know that Grand Texas will ever be “completed” during my lifetime. We’ve been fortunate to acquire sufficient space to grow for at least a couple of decades. However, when Grand Texas Theme Park opens, I hope that we are able to provide a great family experience to Houston locals and tourists alike that will be on par with parks such as Silver Dollar City and Dollywood.

 

I expect Grand Texas will be a source of pride and employment for Montgomery County and the northern Houston area. And with the operations team we have in place, I suspect my role will be diminished dramatically, so I hope I get the opportunity to interact with guests in a direct fashion. I hope they let me be a costumed character or drive the train.

 

What was your favorite theme park ride or attraction as a kid?

 

I grew up in southern California before Orlando had become the hub of the amusement park industry. I went to Disneyland occasionally, but it was more expensive than some of the regional parks. When I was in the second grade, I won a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm. I was terrified of just about everything there, but when I rode the log ride, I was hooked.

 

Participating in memories like these are what I look forward to the most. Knowing you provided the canvas on which families will be able to paint their happiest or most exciting memories is what drives our team and I suspect, most of the industry.

 

Shaina Zucker covers commercial and residential real estate, construction, retail and hospitality for the Houston Business Journal.

 

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