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Rendering courtesy Monty Galland
New theme park set to open in 2015 in East Montgomery CountyAn artist's rendering of Grand Texas, scheduled to open in 2015, depicts the Old West theme of the park.
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New theme park set to open in 2015 in East Montgomery County
The Greater Houston area will soon have a new entertainment venue to visit. Construction will begin this fall on Grand Texas, a large-scale amusement park seeking to cater to the audience that formerly frequented AstroWorld.
Developers of Grand Texas announced the purchase of a 600-acre plot of land in New Caney on July 8 for the theme park, about 25 miles east of The Woodlands at 23413 Hwy. 242 near Hwy. 59.
The park, which has been in the works since about 2004, is expected to open in the spring of 2015 and feature a Texas history theme.
“Houston is significantly underserved in the amusement park arena, and Kemah and Pleasure Pier are wonderful, but they are very different types of venues from an amusement park,” said Monty Galland, pre-development manager of Grand Texas. “The absence of AstroWorld really has left a huge hole for the most part.”
Grand Texas will feature a Big Rivers Water Park; several roller coasters, including one proposed to be one of the 10 largest wooden coasters in the nation; and many other rides similar to those typically found at Six Flags amusement parks. The final list of rides for the park is slated to be revealed in about six to eight months, Galland said.
Andy Dill, president of the Community Chamber of Commerce of East Montgomery County, said New Caney was chosen as the location for the park because of mobility factors.
“East Montgomery County and the I-59 and I-69 corridor is rapidly expanding and has been for many years,” Dill said. “Close proximity to Bush [Intercontinental Airport] for travelers coming in and proximity to the Houston metro area was one of the key drivers for their choice.”
Galland said the cost for Grand Texas is not finalized yet, but it will likely be in the upper millions range.
The park will be paid for by a combination of equity from local investors and financing through different private sources with no public funding used, he said.
“Individuals coming to the park are a target market for disposable income from a travel and tourism effort,” said Frank McCrady, president and CEO of the East Montgomery County Improvement District. “[The park is] certainly a good fit from the jobs perspective. It creates numerous full-time and part-time employments, and we are very excited about that for the job opportunities.”
Galland said Grand Texas will create about 2,200 new seasonal, part-time and full-time jobs for residents in the area. Dill said plans for EarthQuest Adventures, a separately funded 500-acre dinosaur-themed park expected to open in 2014 or 2015, will complement Grand Texas.
“Having a theme park or even two theme parks could bring tourists from two to three hours away on a daily basis,” Dill said.
McCrady said developers are working with local municipalities and community leaders to ensure transportation will accommodate an influx of travelers in the coming years.
The first signs of construction on the project will be visible beginning in late fall.