Waco breaks ground on Central Texas’ First Hawaiian Falls

Total waterpark value to exceed $10 million. New park to open Spring 2012.

Catching the first wave at the groundbreaking of the new, $10 million Hawaiian Falls Waco waterpark are (left to right) Hawaiian Falls president David Busch; Waco Mayor Jim Bush; Hawaiian Falls regional manager Evan Barnett; Waco city manager Larry Groth; and Waco Chamber president Jim Vaughan. Hawaiian Falls vice president of construction Mike Prince is at the controls. Photo by David Alvey.

Heralding a new era of economic revitalization and a new approach to tourism and family entertainment, business and community leaders joined Hawaiian Falls president David Busch, Waco Mayor Jim Bush and city officials today to celebrate the ground breaking for the new Hawaiian Falls waterpark.

Located at 900 Lake Shore Drive, on the site of the former Waco City Water Park, Hawaiian Falls Waco will employ more than 150 seasonal workers and is expected to draw more than 70,000 tourists to the area each year.  The park is projected to have a total annual attendance of 150,000 guests. Hawaiian Falls Waco will be three times larger than the existing aquatic facility. The new park is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend 2012.

“We’re honored to bring Hawaiian Falls’ brand of family entertainment to Waco and Central Texas,” said David Busch, president of Hawaiian Falls. “Because of its central location and the receptive nature of city officials, we selected Waco to be home to our fifth Hawaiian Falls Waterpark. We look forward to being a part of the growth and prosperity in Waco and the Central Texas area.”

Photo by David Alvey.

In a public/private partnership between Hawaiian Falls and the City of Waco, the two entities will immediately invest $6.2 million in converting the former aquatic center into a family waterpark.   The city will retain ownership of the park with Hawaiian Falls operating it under a renewable 40-year lease.
“We welcome this project to our community and appreciate the contributions and expertise of our new partner,” stated Waco Mayor Jim Bush.  “They’ve shown in other markets that they give back a great deal to the community in which they operate. Hawaiian Falls will provide family fun and recreation for all of the residents in our community.”

Hawaiian Falls Waco will be one of the largest and most elaborately themed and landscaped of the Hawaiian Falls waterparks, featuring two, six-story slide complexes with a six-lane racer slide, several tube slides, speed slides and a raft ride; plus a football field-sized wavepool; an 800-foot lazy river winding through tall trees; a floating obstacle course and an enhanced children’s area.

“Hawaiian Falls Waco will have the longest lead time for construction of any of the two-dozen parks we have built or refurbished,” added Busch. “We’re looking forward to the extra time to enhance the landscaping and theming.”

Hawaiian Falls Waco will have special programs for mothers of preschoolers and present “Dive-In” movies during the season. They will also offer private cabanas for daily rental, corporate picnic and group areas, birthday packages and several food and beverage options.   

Daily admission prices are expected to be $23.99 for adults; $16.99 seniors (60 years and older) and children under 48 inches tall. Children two and under will be admitted free with a parent or guardian. Season passes for 2012 are on sale at hfalls.com. Season passes are valid for daily admission to all five Texas Hawaiian Falls at no additional charge. Hawaiian Falls Waco will be open daily 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday noon – 7 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Hawaiian Falls employs more than 1,000 people at waterparks in Garland, Mansfield, The Colony and Roanoke, Texas. The parks will re-open Memorial Day weekend 2012. More information, and season passes, are available at hfalls.com.

Story and photos by David Alvey.

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