Hawaiian Falls Makes a Splash with Special Needs Children

NBCDFW

By Jocelyn Lockwood

Watch the NBCDFW video here.

Hawaiian Falls Water Parks opened all seven locations to children with special needs and their families Saturday.

From 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. thousands of people took advantage of the opportunity to play in a more relaxed atmosphere. Hawaiian Falls added additional staff and turned down the music to help accommodate the kids specific needs.

This is the sixth year Hawaiian Falls hosted what they call Champion’s Day, and they hoped to draw between 2,000 and 3,000 people.

It was the first time at Champion’s Day for Donnie Vacanti and his son Tony. “This has just been fantastic,” Vacanti said. “The staff has been unbelievable, the rides have been great and the kids have been great.”

Vacanti and others praised Hawaiian Falls for make the effort to help every child enjoy some summer fun.

“Sometimes we can be a little impatient here, waiting in lines,” said Kevin Smiley whose son suffers from Down syndrome. “They are able to put on an event like this, and it makes it much easier for us.”

“They have a heart, that says it all, they have a heart,” said Vacanti. “They’re willing to do what they can for these kids and give them extra time so they get to enjoy it just like everybody else.”

Hawaiian Falls says they have had such success with Champion’s Day, the plan to add an additional event in August.

Summer officially starts tomorrow, but the real heat has yet to come

DallasNews

By 

On the day before summer, guests use the lazy river at the Hawaiian Falls Waterpark in The Colony, Texas Friday on June 20, 2014. (Andy Jacobsohn/ staff photographer)

Saturday may be the start of summer. It officially begins at 5:51 a.m.

But if you think it’s sizzling now, just wait a few more weeks.

“Our peak temperatures start several weeks after the official beginning of summer,” said Jesse Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Moore said there are going to be above-normal temperatures this summer. He couldn’t say just how much hotter, though.

The high temperature is expected to hit 94 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Saturday, with a low of 76.

Long-range meteorologists said this summer could be as much as three degrees warmer than normal, bringing high temperatures in the last week of July and the first half of August to 100 degrees.

But we won’t be reaching 100 degrees next week. The highs will be in the lower to mid-90s, with a chance of rain by the middle of the week.

Hawaiian Falls Attempts Record-Breaking Swim Lesson

NBCDFW

North Texas could break a Guinness World Record — all in the name of safety.

At all five Dallas-Fort Worth locations, Hawaiian Falls water parks will try to help set a new world record for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.

Hundreds of people are expected to swim in The Colony, Mansfield, Garland, White Settlement and Roanoke.

“The World Waterpark Association created theWorld’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ in 2010 as a platform to help aquatic facilities communicate the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim. Now in its fifth year, this global event, scheduled for June 20, 2014, has reached more than 50,000 participants and spread the word that Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ to more than 100 million children and adults around the world,” officials with the parks said in a news release.

The swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. sharp. Those who want to take part will need to register by 9:45 a.m. and then meet at the park’s wave pool.  Participants will have to pay to get into the park — admission is $19.99.

All ages are invited to participate and the lesson runs about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Hundreds help dedicate Hawaiian Falls pool

by Erich Hiner

Memo Luna (left) and his brother Diego of Pflugerville draw on the bottom of Hawaiian Falls’ wave pool on May 8.

Neither the threat of rain nor the likelihood of a delayed park opening was enough to dampen the spirits of Pflugerville residents who attended a May 8 dedication ceremony for the soon-to-be-open Hawaiian Falls water park.

Hundreds of guests turned out for the park’s dedication ceremony and pool signing, in which the public was invited to write or draw on the bottom of the park’s 18,000-square-foot wave pool before its concrete is sealed.
The park’s construction has been delayed repeatedly by winter weather, and Hawaiian Falls CEO David Busch said opening day could be pushed to early June.

The dedication ceremony included speeches by officials from the City of Pflugerville and the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, which both played significant roles in developing and financing the park. Pflugerville City Manager Brandon Wade said the park will be the “anchor of family entertainment” in the city.
The $21.5 million, 25-acre facility is expected to attract more than 300,000 guests in its first year of operation and create 300 seasonal jobs.

Park employees also led attendees in a group prayer to bless the facility. The stated mission of Hawaiian Falls, which runs several water parks in Texas, is “serving the lord by bringing families closer together.”

CEO says Hawaiian Falls grand opening could see slight delay

by 

Pflugerville’s Hawaiian Falls Water and Adventure Park is unlikely to open in its entirety by Memorial Day weekend as originally hoped.

At a public dedication ceremony May 8, Hawaiian Falls CEO David Busch said only parts of the park are likely to be open on schedule. A full opening could be delayed until the first week of June.

In addition it is likely that only season pass holders will be admitted to the park for its first few days of operation. Busch said that is a gesture to the customers he said will form the backbone of the park’s clientele.

Hawaiian Falls has sold roughly 2,400 reduced-price season passes to Pflugerville residents since early December. The park has roughly 600 left to sell for the 2014 season.

The park is located on the southbound SH 130 service road just south of the intersection of FM 685 and SH 130.

Park officials cannot guarantee an exact date for Hawaiian Falls’ full or partial opening because construction is ongoing. Poor weather could also extend the delay.

“We’re really waiting got see what happens over the next week to 10 days,” Hawaiian Falls spokesman David Alvey said.

The park’s wave pool and lazy river should be ready by the proposed partial opening on Memorial Day weekend, Busch said. Several water slides could also be open if construction goes as planned.

Busch said all the park’s water features will be “in full swing” by the first week of June—the start of many area schools’ summer vacation seasons. The opening of the Hawaiian Falls Adventure Park, the facility’s dry play area, is likely to trail the opening of the water park by at least a day, Busch said.

Plans for the park were finalized last summer, but construction did not begin until December because of financing delays. In addition, construction crews have lost 28 working days to inclement weather since December.

Water-slideshow: Sneak peek at Hawaiian Falls near Austin

Austin Business Journal

, Editor

Hawaiian Falls is taking shape. Click the photo to take a virtual tour of the water park still under construction.

It’s perhaps one of the biggest economic development deals for the North Austin suburb of Pflugerville, and it’s certainly the biggest project ever undertaken by Hawaiian Falls Waterparks.

More than $23 million is being invested to bring the water park to fruition. It’s scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend — in less than three weeks — but executives said Thursday the opening may be delayed until June.

As construction crews worked at a feverish pace, the company invited the public to check out the site still under construction. Local religious leaders blessed the site and children signed the empty wave pool with chalk. Click through the photos to see how the 21-acre site is shaping up.

The year-round entertainment complex is expected to bring more than $30 million in economic impact, along with 300,000 annual guests and $6.2 million in sales, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. and conducted by Impact DataSource. It will employ 250 to 300 part-time, seasonal workers, 100 part-time workers year round and 15 to 20 full-time positions with health insurance benefits, according to past reports.

Pflugerville water park ready to splash

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — Hawaiian Falls, Pflugerville’s new water park, is racing down the homestretch to open by Memorial Day. There’s still some work to be done.

“Yikes”, laughs President David Busch, “Memorial Day! It will be a partial opening. The whole thing won’t be finished by then, but it will be when school lets out June 5.”

Sitting on 25 acres along State Highway 130 and Farm-to-Market 685, there will be no other park like it within a 60 mile radius. It offers the largest wave pool in Texas, a floating river and plenty of giant slides.

They have already sold 2,800 season passes at $89 each, and hope to sell 12,000. Daily passes are $35 for adults and $26 for children.

The park will create 400 jobs, 300 of those will be seasonal.


A start-up bridge loan of $7 million has already been repaid. What remains is the overall project’s $23.5 million loan. That money was made available through the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, a quasi private-public group, but it is ultimately backed by the City of Pflugerville should the project fail.

Hawaiian Falls’ David Busch doesn’t think that will happen. “Our other projects all over the country are flourishing, attracting hotels and residences, all types of development. This is one of the top markets in America without a water park so we think this is a pretty good bet.”

A Best Western hotel is already committed to the area and a larger, unnamed hotel is close to finalizing a deal. One thousand homes nearby are in the construction pipeline.

Customers young and old who got a sneak peek Thursday are ready to get wet.

“I want to ride that one, the big slide,” said Shelby Hoffman. “It looks great.”

Christopher Williams was also impressed. “I think it’s going to be amazing. It looks cool already.”

There was some concern about water use in these drought stricken times.

Busch explains the park will use 10 million gallons of water a year but more than 90 percent of that will be recycled, so only 1 million gallons will be lost.

“Tha’ts about what you would use to water a fair sized ball field for a year,” according to Busch, “or the water use of about 125 homes.”

There is also a “dry” Adventure Park on the property with obstacle course, zip line, arcade and laser tag. It will remain open year-round.

Pflugerville water park might not be ready for Memorial Day opening

Austin American Statesman

BY ANDRA LIM

PFLUGERVILLE —

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.”

New Water Park Opens Memorial Day in Pflugerville

The Hawaiian Falls water park should open on Memorial Day. As of Thursday, several rides are already built and the wave pool is almost finished. Park officials said most of the work left to do is the plumbing going under the park. “We have a lot of crews working round the clock trying to get this park open for public and for fun for Pflugerville and the surrounding communities. Over the next course our challenge is going to be a race against time but we’re confident that we can do it,”  said Evan Barnett, GM. Thursday night the public is invited to attend a prayer walk and wave pool signing party from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.



Read More at: http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/new-water-park-opens-memorial-day-pflugerville-17936.shtml

White Settlement looking to add retailers – Star-Telegram

BY SHLACHTER, BAKER & FUQUAY

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to flock to White Settlement annually to visit the Hawaiian Falls entertainment complex, and city officials want to capitalize on potential spending power.

The city has hired a national retail consulting firm, the Retail Coach, to study what types of shopping are needed and where they should go.

“This development along with our growing base of industry and hospitality amenities presents an ideal time to take a proactive approach in shaping our retail environment,” Mayor Jerry Burns said. “We want to identify White Settlement’s additional opportunities for retail expansion, whether that means attracting a new retailer or helping our existing businesses expand their products and services to meet local consumer demand.”

The 16-acre Hawaiian Falls water and adventure park, and the Aloha Conference Center open on Memorial Day weekend at Clifford Street and Loop 820 on land near Veterans Park owned by the city. The park has created more than 250 seasonal jobs and more than 30 year-round jobs, the city said. Read more»