Dozens of people gathered Thursday for the Greater East Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce groundbreaking at the site of Big Rivers Waterpark and Gator Bayou Adventure Park.

Developer Monty Galland said the new attractions has been in the works for about three years and will be opening this coming summer. Big Rivers will have the biggest lazy river anywhere and some of the tallest slides as well. Gator Bayou Adventure Park will have an alligator exhibit, zip lines and rope courses, as well a “Vulture Dive”, which is a 70-foot free-fall jump and some more tame activities, such as cane fishing. The parks will accommodate about 10,000 people at once, Galland said.  He is also involved in the Grand Texas theme park, and pointed out the first attraction is already open. Speedsportz Racing Park, which is independently operated, offers European style racing carts. Galland was also involved in the development of the 141 space Grand Texas RV Resort – the only RV resort in the area with all concrete pads, all concrete roads, over 100 cable channels, the area’s fastest wi-fi and many other amenities.

The economic impact of the multi-billion-dollar project is expected to be nothing short of staggering, with the waterpark alone projected to generate over $150 million per year. Big Rivers Waterpark and Gator Bayou Adventure Park will bring 500 new jobs to the area in addition to all of the visitor revenue.

Hotel mogul Sanjiv Khanna, who has also been involved in the Grand Texas Park project for over three years, said he has been exploring possibilities regarding hotels, and has acquired four lots in the area of the waterpark and adventure park. According to Khanna, an upscale version of Best Western will be built first. He has already secured approval from Marriott, and says the third hotel chain to get onboard will most likely be a Hilton. Eventually there will also be full service hotels.

Frank McReady, speaking on behalf of East Montgomery County Improvement District said the development would provide great job opportunities and recreational opportunities for the community. From a revenue perspective, he said, the sales taxes generated from the development would be a tremendous revenue source, particularly for the school district.


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