The following is an exclusive interview from NewCaney.com, with a representative of the upcoming Grand Texas Theme Park. Many residents are excited about the prospects of a park in the area, and these questions address some of the concerns that have been voiced in the community.
--------------------------------------------------------Q. Can you explain a little more about the Theme of the Grand Texas Park, and what attractions the Grand Texas Theme Park will include?
Grand Texas Theme Park will be themed to honor the history of Texas and the Wild West. Texas has such a rich and vibrant history that we wanted to create an environment that showcased that. Its’ history is full of wild & adventurous stories that we will help to come to life for a truly interactive experience for our guests. We want the families that visit Grand Texas to not only be entertained, but enjoy an educational experience, as well.
Guests visiting Grand Texas will be able to enjoy a wide variety of activities. The park will be divided into a number of areas, each focusing on a different element of Texas history. Attractions at Grand Texas will include a total of 3 rollercoasters, including a 150’ high wooden coaster with speeds in excess of 60mph and a steel coaster with one of the highest inversions in the world. In addition to the coasters, the park will also include a full-size steam train, real stage coach line, water rides, 2 dozen amusement attractions, a mile-long equestrian trail, an “agri-tainment” area with petting zoos, pony rides and a working farm, a living museum with trades & crafts, an amphitheater and an adventure park with zip lines, ropes course and other eco-friendly activities. The park will also include a plethora of space for group outings and special events, including air-conditioned catering space.Where exactly will the park be located? We've seen it mentioned that the park will be at the corner of 242 and Highway 59 -- could you be more specific about its location? Will it be located at the NorthWest corner of that intersection?
The site for the Grand Texas Entertainment District is located at Hwy 242 and US 59/I 69 and includes acreage on the north and south sides of Hwy 242. The site is on the west side of US 59/I 69 and is located in East Montgomery County. The GTED will consist of a total of 610 acres, with the majority of the site located on the north side of Hwy 242.What experience does this company and the people involved have in building and operating theme parks?
The management team compiled for the operation of the parks includes several proven industry professionals. Grand Texas has also contracted with Innovative Leisure Partners (ILP), based in Houston, on the project management of the Grand Texas Entertainment District. ILP was founded by Chuck Hendrix, a veteran in the leisure and entertainment industry with 35+ years of experience. Hendrix was the General Manager of Six Flags AstroWorld in Houston for 13 years until its closure in 2005 and then took the role of VP of Strategic Planning for Six Flags, Inc. where he oversaw the operations of 37 Six Flags themeparks and 34,000 employees worldwide before returning to Houston and founding Innovative Leisure Partners. ILP has successfully managed the construction and operation of family entertainment venues & attractions on a global scale. The Grand Texas team feels that ILP brings an unparalleled level of expertise for the industry and this market to the project.When is the expected groundbreaking date for the Grand Texas Theme Park?
We hope to break ground on the theme park later this Fall.Residents are excited but somewhat skeptical of a new park, after the many delays of another park in the area. One of the problems with the other project was that the funding for it was never fully realized. How well financed is the Grand Texas theme park? Is the Grand Texas Theme Park funded internally, or externally through outside investors? If by outside investors, has the funding already been committed, or is the project still searching for backers to fund it?
We certainly understand the skepticism that the residents feel due to the delays in progress and public money allocated towards another proposed attraction. However, the biggest differences between Grand Texas and the aforementioned attraction is that we actually own our land and we have compiled a team of proven industry professionals. As for the financing, we do not anticipate seeking any additional equity investment and the lending & terms of the project are private.Has any local tax money been spent on the project yet? Will any public funds be used to support the park in the future, and if so, where will the funds come from?
No public money has been spent on the project. Grand Texas has been offered the standard incentives package that is made available to all new projects in East Montgomery County.How is EMCID assisting in getting this project off the ground?
EMCID assisted in locating the right site for the project and have been helpful in coordinating available incentives offered by EMCID and the state.
You can stay up to date with developments regarding the Grand Texas Theme Park at their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/GrandTexas