Developers secure 600 acres for Grand Texas theme park

Posted Thursday, July 11, 2013 8:15 PM | Contributed by Jason Hammond

Developers announced Monday the purchase of a roughly 600-acre piece of land in New Caney for the Grand Texas Theme Park and Big Rivers Water Park. The attraction would bring a Texas-themed amusement park, water park, equestrian center and retail center that aims to fill a void left by the former Astro World.

Read more from The Houston Chronicle.

Friday, July 12, 2013 9:55 AM
rollergator's avatar

I loved the complaints about "this isn't in Houston!"

SFNE is in Agawam, SFStL is in Eureka, SFoG is in Austell, SFA is in Upper Marlboro....nobody plunks a major amusement park down in the middle of a developed city (Knott's and DL weren't "developed" like they are now when those parks were built). Any understanding of land use?

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Friday, July 12, 2013 10:17 AM

The planned location is on par with where parks are typically located from major cities. From downtown Houston to New Caney is the same distance as downtown Los Angeles to Valencia. Its the same distance to large suburbs of Houston like The Woodlands and Katy. Houston used to have a park on the inner loop but it became so fenced in by development that expansion became severely constrained. Other parks in that situation like Denver and Louisville haven't fared so well either.

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Friday, July 12, 2013 5:42 PM

rollergator said:
nobody plunks a major amusement park down in the middle of a developed city

Unless you're Elitch. :-)

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Friday, July 12, 2013 11:19 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Wow... I have never even heard of Earth Quest, and I'm in and out of Houston all the time. Probably a reason I've never heard of it... as awesome as it looks, a park like this is nearly impossible to pull off. Universal did it with IOA, but they are Universal, and their parks are a very small percentage of the company.

As for Grand Texas, a new semi-modern theme park, with a logical layout and wide walkways designed with modern tech, for today's crowds and future growth, would be welcome to the area. I believe the area could support a local theme park that could draw people from within the state of TX and the surrounding states.

Not entirely sure Houston could support a park such as EQ. That's some Disney level stuff right there. If their website is representative, it looks like it would cost at least $100 to get in that place. And for that money, people will just go to Disney.

Good luck, Grand Texas, we're all counting on you. Lose the derp-y looking horse though.

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Friday, July 12, 2013 11:21 PM
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Saturday, July 13, 2013 12:16 AM
kpjb's avatar

Not sure why you'd want to do a Texas themed park in Texas.


Hi

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Saturday, July 13, 2013 2:50 AM
LostKause's avatar

California's Adventure did it, as unpopular as it was at first.


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Saturday, July 13, 2013 8:16 AM
kpjb's avatar

That's sort-of my point. It took Disney how many years and how much money to make that work? Do these people have that luxury?

You don't build a replica Eiffel Tower in a city outside Paris. You do it in Vegas where it won't be overshadowed by the original.


Hi

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Saturday, July 13, 2013 10:18 AM

kpjb said:
Not sure why you'd want to do a Texas themed park in Texas.

Oh, don't worry about the Texans, they'll be ok with it. There's nothing they like better than doing things for and about themselves. I believe it's called Texas Proud.

I like going there. The cities are great, the parks are amazing, the food is awesome and the people are friendly. But Texans are big on one thing-Texas. Seriously, it's one self tribute after another down there. I've been caught rolling my eyes at them more than once.

So never fear, they can stand yet another theme park devoted to themselves. Even if nobody but Texans show up for it it'll be considered a success.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013 10:44 AM

“This is a huge, huge market,” said Hendrix, a former Six Flags executive who managed Astro World. “Never before have you had a major theme park depart a market and then be gone for six years with nothing to replace it.”

Unless you're New Orleans.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013 12:11 PM

kpjb said:

Not sure why you'd want to do a Texas themed park in Texas.

It's already been done. Six Flags Over Texas, the original Six Flags, is themed to six different countries that once claimed Texas. In no particular order; Spain, Mexico, France, The Confederacy, The Republic of Texas, and the United States. Hence the name "Six Flags" is based on these 6 countries.

The park has been successful in adding additional "lands". Gotham City and Bruce Wayne never governed Texas.

Anyhow, case being, Grand Texas wouldn't be the first park themed to Texas. Also, there's other parks that have sections and rides themed to their locale (ie. Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags St. Louis, California Adventure, Alabama Adventures, etc.).


Astroworld.....Gone But Not Forgotten

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Saturday, July 13, 2013 1:06 PM
rollergator's avatar

RCMAC said:

“Never before have you had a major theme park depart a market and then be gone for six years with nothing to replace it.”

Unless you're New Orleans.

New Orleans is a sad tale that will probably take a generation to finish unfolding (Katrina decimated the place, but left...Deepwater Horizon will need 20-30 years for the devastation to end).

Houston is pretty much a world away from New Orleans, though. Houston is the fourth largest MMA in the country, trailing NY, LA, and Chicago. Houston has gazillions of dollars in oil money, whereas Nawlins was (and is still) largely dependent, probably too dependent, on the more mercurial tourism market.

Kemah came in and took advantage of the void in the marketplace, but only to the extent to make their small park profitable....this is a MAJOR venture, an attempt to really go after the VAST amount of money available. Given the Houston climate, I hope they devote massive resources to building a world-class waterpark...dry rides will be a draw, but the water is where the money is...

As always, IMO... ;~)

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Saturday, July 13, 2013 2:20 PM

Concrete Enchilada said:

Anyhow, case being, Grand Texas wouldn't be the first park themed to Texas.

Right. Nor the last, I'm sure. That was kind of my point.

And thanks for the little history. We would never have known that Six Flags over Texas was a place themed to... Texas did you say? Are you certain?

:-)

Last edited by RCMAC, Saturday, July 13, 2013 2:29 PM
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Saturday, July 13, 2013 3:44 PM
kpjb's avatar

Themed as the six different countries that once claimed Texas (plus Gotham) is not the same as themed to Texas. Just like themed to the way California was when Walt got his start (plus radiator springs) is not the same as themed to California.


Hi

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Saturday, July 13, 2013 4:03 PM

Well, actually, the areas at SFOT were themed more to Texas using the countries as they claimed the state. In other words, the French area wasn't like Paris France, but more like Texas under French influence. Texas under Spanish influence, etc.

I'm not sure what you're getting at. In what way is a California themed park, whether the view is modern or historic, not themed to California? Or when is a park that features 6 lands based on Texas history not a Texas themed park?

Last edited by RCMAC, Saturday, July 13, 2013 4:42 PM
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Saturday, July 13, 2013 4:42 PM
kpjb's avatar

California in the past is not somewhere that people can visit. That's why it works as a theme when California present did not, but just to clarify my opinion, let me rephrase. I think it's a stupid idea, whether or not someone else already does it.


Hi

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Saturday, July 13, 2013 5:01 PM

Do you think World Showcase at EPCOT is a stupid idea?

Theme parks everywhere are mere representations of someone's notion of an environment. Whether it be an attempt at history, the future, or the present, it's never an exact re-creation of things that were, will be, or are. The theme park patron recognizes that, and is drawn in by the added level of fantasy and excitement. There's rides, shows, and architecture that is usually under scale or over scale. It's a contained environment, usually surrounded by a fence. Theme parks are a form of the old theatrical convention "we ask you to believe". Which is why people pay to go there, even though standing in their own backyard is free and probably more "realistic".

Edit to add: Wait. I think I see what you mean. You don't think parks should represent California if they're standing in California, Texas if it's in Texas, etc. Europa Park should have a completely different theme because, after all, its already in Europe? And particularly if no effort is made to skew the vision to a world that no longer exists, or that people can no longer visit. Am I right? If so, your list of acceptable theme parks is shorter than mine. To me it doesn't matter. If the Texans want to fall all over themselves to give me yet another lesson about Texas, they should go for it. Even though I'm free and available to drive around the entire state myself, I might just want to keep it quick and take in a few thrill rides while I'm at it.

Last edited by RCMAC, Saturday, July 13, 2013 5:36 PM
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Saturday, July 13, 2013 7:40 PM
kpjb's avatar

Again, I think it's a stupid idea. That's the sum total of my opinion, and I don't really care if you disagree. I'm not debating anything, just stating a fact. I think it's dumb.


Hi

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Saturday, July 13, 2013 9:33 PM

kpjb said:

You don't build a replica Eiffel Tower in a city outside Paris. You do it in Vegas where it won't be overshadowed by the original.

Unless you're Kings Island or King's Dominion.


Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
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Saturday, July 13, 2013 10:42 PM

I think it's okay for a park to have sections of the park or rides that post homage to the area's traditions our heritage. For example, michigan adventure is one that comes to mind. MA has Grand Rapids, Logger's Run, and Shivering Timbers that are themed because of the area's logging history. The area is not themed "Michigan", though.

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Sunday, July 14, 2013 10:05 AM
Jeff's avatar

Regarding Astroworld, I think the issue wasn't that it wasn't a sustainable business, it was that the land was worth so much that selling it made more sense.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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