Even as the Hawaiian Falls water and adventure park hosted a “sneak peek” Thursday night, officials weren’t sure whether the $23.5 million attraction would fully open Memorial Day weekend, as had been the plan for months.
If there are clear skies ahead, then the water park could open for that long holiday weekend, Hawaiian Falls spokesman David Alvey said. If not, then it’ll be the start of June, he said.
The adventure park — the first zipline, obstacle course and climbing attraction Hawaiian Falls has built — likely won’t open until a week or so after Memorial Day, Alvey said. Many bits and pieces, such as cargo netting and clamps, haven’t yet been delivered, he said.
The 22,000-square-foot Aloha Event Center, which will contain a restaurant, a theater, arcade and the park’s main restrooms, is on track to be finished by July 1, Alvey said. Other restrooms and several food kiosks will be ready when the park opens, Alvey said.
“Whether we open Memorial Day or a week or two later, 30 days after we’re open, nobody’s going to care,” Alvey said. “I understand people are anxious to get into the park. We’re anxious to get revenue going.”
Pflugerville water park might not be ready for Memorial Day opening
Construction was on a tight timeline since day one.
Had things gone smoothly, Hawaiian Falls could have started building last August, but it wasn’t able to break ground until early December, said Floyd Akers, executive director of the Pflugerville Community Development Corp.
The corporation, which took out a $23.5 million private loan to buy the site by FM 685 and Texas 130 and build the park, wasn’t able to line up financing until February, Akers said. At the end of 2013, the city of Pflugerville loaned the quasi-governmental corporation $7 million, which has been paid back, so construction could begin sooner.
Hawaiian Falls is on the hook for paying back the $23.5 million in monthly installments that start in July and add up to about $1.4 million a year, Akers said.
George Deines, the aquatics manager for the city of Garland, which has a Hawaiian Falls park, told the American-Statesman last December that losing four days at the water park because of rain could mean $100,000 down the drain.
A daily admission ticket to Hawaiian Falls costs between $10 and $35.99. With many students having to return to school after Memorial Day, though, Alvey said that weekend would be more of a “soft opening” for the Pflugerville park.
All of the park’s attractions — including a six-story free fall, an enclosed slide, a wave pool and a river — are on-site and being installed. Pumps are being put in and will need to be hooked up to electrical systems, then covered with concrete, Alvey said. Landscaping the park with grass, trees and flowers is also on the to-do list, as are visits from city and state inspectors, Alvey said.
At a Thursday night event, families could pray for the park and write Bible verses on the wave pool’s concrete walls and bottom with chalk. Twisting blue and green slides, as well as a long orange-and-yellow one, loomed large over piles of dirt and pits.
Pflugerville resident Doris Marin, 54, said she’s looking forward to bringing her family to the park this summer. Her friend from New Jersey is visiting Memorial Day weekend, and Marin hopes her family can enjoy Hawaiian Falls as well — but if not, it’s OK, she said.
“What can we do?” Marin said. “We’ve got to wait for everything.”