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Big Rivers Water, Adventure Park Under Way

Wed July 18, 2018 - West Edition #15
Chuck Harvey – CEG Correspondent


North Avenue Capital said Big Rivers received a $10 million loan, while the neighboring Gator Bayou Adventure Park and Trio Parking each received a $5 million loan.
North Avenue Capital said Big Rivers received a $10 million loan, while the neighboring Gator Bayou Adventure Park and Trio Parking each received a $5 million loan.
North Avenue Capital said Big Rivers received a $10 million loan, while the neighboring Gator Bayou Adventure Park and Trio Parking each received a $5 million loan. The park’s theme is based on Texas history, including Spanish, Mexican and German influences.
When construction is complete, Grand Texas will comprise Houston’s largest amusement park, a waterpark, an outlet mall, a shopping and dining promenade and hotels.
A premier team of contractors, engineers and architects are working to bring Big Rivers Waterpark and Gator Bayou Adventure Park to Grand Texas district by summer 2018.
The park’s theme is based on Texas history, including Spanish, Mexican and German influences.
Cool adventures are on the way near Houston where construction crews are building Big Rivers Water Park and Gator Bayou Adventure Park within a new tourist destination called Grand Texas Sports and Entertainment District.

Cool adventures are on the way near Houston where construction crews are building Big Rivers Water Park and Gator Bayou Adventure Park within a new tourist destination called Grand Texas Sports and Entertainment District.

The Grand Texas district hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the two new attractions on Dec. 14, 2017. Both parks are the newest additions to the 630-acre Grand Texas district development located on Highway 242 and Interstate 69, northeast of Houston.

They are expected to open this summer.

When construction is complete, Grand Texas will comprise Houston's largest amusement park, a waterpark, an outlet mall, a shopping and dining promenade and hotels.

Developers announced in March the Big Rivers waterpark received a new infusion of cash to help their doors open in time for summer.

North Avenue Capital said Big Rivers received a $10 million loan, while the neighboring Gator Bayou Adventure Park and Trio Parking each received a $5 million loan.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is helping fund the Grand Texas projects.

The amusements and attractions are expected to bring a lot of business to the area, just north of Houston.

Grand Texas CEO Monty Galland said in a release that the opening of Big Rivers Waterpark will help attract a lot of attention to the New Caney area.

Alex Louis, North Avenue Capital managing partner, added that the USDA's “support of the projects has been unwavering.”

He continued, “The area north of Houston is ripe for growth, and Grand Texas is leading the charge. The new parks will create more than 300 full-time and part-time jobs in this community. It's rewarding for NAC to partner with USDA, SME Advisors and AmeriState Bank in the financing of the projects.”

Big Rivers and Gator Bayou will cover 80 acres. The waterpark portion will comprise the largest lazy river in the Houston area. It is the largest interactive play structure in Texas.

Big Rivers features a wave pool and a variety of waterslides. Guests will even be able to learn about Texas' rivers through entertainment, interactive activities, and theming.

Gator Bayou Adventure Park will be open year-round, bringing a new outdoor experience to the Greater Houston Area. Immediately adjacent to the waterpark, Gator Bayou will provide zip lines, challenge courses, nature trails, a seven-story free fall tower, additional water attractions and eco-tourism activities.

Gator Bayou also incorporates educational aspects regarding Texas wildlife with an alligator habitat as a focal point. Guests also will be able to relax with activities such as cane fishing, a petting zoo, pony rides and a giant maze.

A premier team of contractors, engineers and architects are working to bring Big Rivers Waterpark and Gator Bayou Adventure Park to Grand Texas district by summer 2018.

Contractor Is Experienced, Multi-Faceted

Solid Bridge Construction, based in Huntsville, Texas, is the general contractor for Big Rivers and Gator Bayou.

Solid Bridge Construction provides construction services from general contracting to negotiating, to complete project management for the whole completion of a construction project. The company stresses the importance of building with quality and safety in mind, while respecting the environment and its limited resources.

Engineering and design work is provided by WET Engineering, Ward, Getz & Associates, Bleyl & Associates, and Quest Engineering. Architectural services are led by Van Horn Reed & Associates.

GT Operating Co. Inc., a privately-held Texas corporation, oversees the development of Grand Texas.

Additional development within Grand Texas includes construction of a Best Western Premier hotel along Interstate 69, which also is expected to open this summer. Grand Texas Theme Park, a 150-acre development, is expected to open in April 2020.

It also will be located within the Grand Texas Sports and Entertainment District.

A Privately-Funded Entertainment Complex

The Grand Texas Sports and Entertainment District is a privately funded entertainment complex. The district will consist of eight venues: Grand Texas Theme Park, Big Rivers Water Park, a retail center called Grove Factory Outlet, Downtown Texas, Speedsportz Racing Park, Grand Texas Sportsplex, Gator Bayou Adventure Park and Grand Texas RV Resort.

U.S. Department of Agriculture loans also have helped move the district's projects along. In March, North Avenue Capital in Dallas announced that three USDA Rural Development Business & Industry loans totaling $20 million, were completed for Grand Texas projects.

SME Advisors, a government-guaranteed lending advisory firm based in Dallas, originated the loans and worked on the effort for more than two years.

Construction of Theme Park Follows Completion of Big Rivers

Once Big Rivers debuts, workers will begin construction the Grand Texas Theme Park and Grand Texas Sportsplex. The two projects will take two years to complete. When finished, the theme park will have five roller coasters, dozens of rides and live entertainment.

The park's theme is based on Texas history, including Spanish, Mexican and German influences.

Other parts of the entertainment development have already debuted. The Speedsportz Racing Park held a soft opening in December 2016. The race track began construction in 2016.

Plans for Grand Texas also include Grove Factory Outlets and four hotels.

Grand Texas has faced significant delays since its master plan was first released. Delays resulted from a lender backing out, the energy downturn and construction delays on infrastructure projects surrounding the project.

CEG