$21.5 million water park to open in Pflugerville in 2014

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalist JP Harrington

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on August 6, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 7 at 10:27 AM

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas -- The City of Pflugerville will have another way to cool off next year with a new water park approved Tuesday.

The Pflugerville City Council approved economic development grants for Hawaiian Falls Water Park and Adventure Park.

The new development will cost $21.5 million. Developers say it will span 25 acres and will be built near the southwest corner of SH 130 and FM 685.

David Busch, president of Horizon Family Holdings which has developed and operated 24 waterparks across the U.S. including Hawaiian Falls, said the Pflugerville park will cover approximately 10 acres. The adventure park will span five acres, and the remaining acreage will be used for parking and future expansion.

City leaders say they expect more than 3,000 guests and some $6.2 million in expected sales for the first year. The Pflugerville Community Development Corporation Executive Director Floyd Akers said over the next 30 years, the economic impact will be about $700 million.

"For Pflugerville that is dramatic. Obviously that's great for Pflugerville. I also think it's great for the Austin region," Akers said.

One reason: jobs.

“This is a significant economic development win for Pflugerville for multiple reasons,” Akers said.

The City says the new water park will create 250 to 300 seasonal jobs, an additional 100 year-round jobs and 15-20 full-time jobs with benefits. City leaders say the new water park will also spur additional development in the area.

“Pflugerville will become a regional destination for Central Texas residents. In addition to bringing additional tax revenue to the city, this project will also provide additional funding to the PCDC for economic development, provide jobs to local teenagers and adults, and spur additional development such as hotels in the area,” Akers said.

The Pflugerville location will be the largest Hawaiian Falls waterpark in Texas, and the first in Texas with an adventure park. Hawaiian Falls also has waterparks in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke and Waco, Texas.

By selecting Pflugerville for Hawaiian Falls’ expansion into Central Texas, Busch said it puts the park within a 25-minute drive of more than two million people regionally. It will be the only waterpark of this size within an hour drive.

“We selected Pflugerville because of the business-friendly atmosphere and perfect demographics,” Busch said. “We wanted a high concentration of children and families, good highway access, regional employers, great weather and people who enjoy the outdoors. Pflugerville provided all that and more.”

Busch said his team has been in search of the right location and partnership in the Austin area since 2003. Horizon met with six or seven other cities in the region before choosing Pflugerville.

“Pflugerville was the absolute best choice,” Busch said. “They were interested and responsive in working with us to bring Hawaiian Falls to fruition. We need to move quickly to make this project a reality for summer 2014, and Pflugerville is a ‘can do’ community that will make this happen.”

The PCDC will acquire and own the 25-acre tract of land for the project. Hawaiian Falls will develop and operate the parks under a 30-year lease agreement with two 10-year options to renew.

Pflugerville residents and City of Pflugerville employees will receive a discount on daily tickets and season passes, available for sale soon.

When the park opens, tickets for the day will be about $30 for adults and $20 for kids. A season pass will cost under $70.

VIDEO of the water park opening Memorial Day weekend in Waco:

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