Typhoon Texas renovations on schedule for May opening
3 Apr 2017
Pflugerville residents will be able to enjoy a renovated water park with new attractions and more shade when Typhoon Texas opens in less than two months.
Pflugerville City Council members heard an update on the water park’s renovation process at their March 28 meeting from Ray DeLaughter, Typhoon Texas’s chief financial officer.
The Katy-based company took over operations at the water park after council members late last year voted out Source Horizons LLC, the initial management company for the Hawaiian Falls water and adventure park.
In January, the City Council and Pflugerville Community Development Corporation unanimously approved terms for a two-year ground and operating lease agreement with Typhoon Texas for the water park along Texas 130.
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.
DeLaughter said construction to renovate the park is on schedule, with an opening date slated for May 26. Construction is underway on an area for toddlers and a play structure for preteen park-goers, he said.
One thing the new operators wanted to focus on was getting rid of all sand in the park. “That’s important because people get in the sand and the sand gets into the water, then into the filters and it creates maintenance problems,” DeLaughter said.
Crews have built a deck on top of an area with a significant amount of sand to convert it to a large seating area with a bar, he said.
Cleaning the park’s pools was also a top priority for the new company. Crews have drained the pools and cleaned each area. “As you know, the water was not maintained very well before, so it’s been quite a task and quite an expense getting the pool surfaces to an acceptable level,” he said.
Prior to renovations, DeLaughter said a frequent complaint was a lack of shading at the park. “It’s really a sea of concrete, and the shade that existed in the park was sized so that it really didn’t provide a whole lot of shade,” he said.
Officials have designed shade for the beach area into the lazy river and over part of the wave pool, he said, with large, sail-like shade canopies. Typhoon has invested about $450,000 into shade for the park, he said.
Crews also changed landscaping inside and outside of the park, he said, removing the existing palm trees and instead utilizing native landscaping to promote the Typhoon Texas brand.
As for staffing the park, the company has hired about 95 percent of its full-time stafffor the location and are well underway hiring summer season employees, DeLaughter said.
Typhoon Texas officials have reached out to area schools and are targeting teens for the seasonal, part-time work, he said. The water park will hire as many as 600 seasonal employees for the summer, he said.
DeLaughter said the company also will ramp up marketing of the park as the opening date approaches. “It’s time to start telling the message of what Typhoon Texas is as a water park and educate the community on how we’re different,” he said.
Nicole Barrios, Austin Community Newspapers Staff, 4/3/17, statesman.com