Pflugerville pens deal with Typhoon Texas to open water park

After weeks of negotiation, a deal has been struck between the Pflugerville City Council, the city’s economic development arm and Typhoon Texas to have the company operate the water park previously run by Hawaiian Falls.

At a Jan. 3 special meeting, the City Council and Pflugerville Community Development Corporation unanimously approved terms for a two-year ground and operating lease agreement for the Pflugerville water park located along Texas 130. The agreement includes options for Typhoon to renew the lease in 10-year increments up to 2038, officials said. The finalization of terms comes after a Dec. 28 special meeting where an agreement could not be reached and negotiations continued until the January meeting.

The Katy-based company is set to manage the park after council members on Dec. 15 voted out Source Horizons LLC, the initial management company for the Hawaiian Falls water and adventure park.

The agreement was amended Jan. 3 to include that the point of sale for tickets must be within the city limits so the city can capture that sales tax.

An amendment was also added to allow Typhoon the option to purchase the park anytime after Oct. 1, 2027, said Amy Madison, executive director of the community development corporation. It may purchase the property at a price equal to the value of the remaining lease payments at the time, discounted by 4.5 percent, she said. For example, if Typhoon were to buy the park in September 2028, it would pay more than $9.99 million, she said.

Per the agreement, Typhoon will invest at least $4.5 million into the water park over a two-year period for park repairs and maintenance, building new attractions and additional technology for operations.

The agreement has Typhoon paying a $1.15 million annual lease payment from 2017 to 2038, officials said. In addition to lease payments, Typhoon will pay the corporation $1 for every ticket over 300,000 sold in any season, with a season pass counting as one ticket sold, officials said.

The corporation will contribute approximately $434,315 annually, funded by sales tax revenue, to assist in fulfilling payments to Capital One for a $25 million loan with the bank taken out by the PCDC for the water park property and facility. After the corporation’s loan for the park is fulfilled, the lease payment will be reduced to $100 annually, which is anticipated to occur in 2038, officials said.

“I will say that it has been a challenge for all of us on the PCDC board and City Council, our financial team (and) our legal team, trying to get to a point where we can maintain the water park and continue it’s operation,” Mayor Victor Gonzales said. “Having found a future business relationship with Typhoon Texas and meeting with them several times now, I feel that this is the right course and I believe we will see some very positive results.”

Typhoon will honor Hawaiian Falls 2017 season passes that already have been purchased and is matching Hawaiian Falls season pass pricing for new park passes at $69.99, officials said.

The company is also set to add new attractions including the Gully Washer, a four-story splash pad playground for young children.

The park is set to open, weather permitting, on May 26, and offer free parking.

Terry Hlavinka, an owner of Typhoon Texas, has said construction began on the water park in late December. The park is expected to reopen in early May.


Nicole Barrios Austin Community Newspapers Staff, Austin Statesman, 1/5/17, statesman.com