The City of Hudson Oaks is anxiously awaiting the opening of one of its newest businesses, Splash Kingdom Water Park, albeit a little later that originally thought. Workers quicken the pace of construction in anticipation of the grand opening for their new $9 million facility later this month.“The challenges of building this type of facility while utilizing the beautiful elevations and rocky terrain of Parker County has lengthened the construction timeline a bit, but has only increased our excitement about the finished product we will be able to provide our guests,” said Johnny Belvins, President and CEO of Splash Kingdom. “The entire Splash Kingdom family could not be more excited about the support and partnership we have received from the City of Hudson Oaks. We are looking forward to providing the Splash Kingdom family experience as soon as possible.”Workers recently poured the last of the concrete for the walls of the wave pool which will contain approximately 300,000 gallons of water. All total, the park will use slightly more than 550,000 gallons of water on its 10-acre tract which includes a lazy river, five slides, concession stands, offices and more.“I just can’t say enough about Johnny Blevins and Splash Kingdom, they have been fantastic to work with,” said Patrick Lawler, Interim City Administrator of Hudson Oaks. “We’re just so excited.”Lawler said the partnership with Splash Kingdom began as the city was looking at their economic development strategic plan, and how the city could compete in the regional market.“You’ve got Weatherford down the road that has done an excellent job developing retail,” Lawler added. “Then the Walsh Ranch development seven miles to the east, so we looked at entertainment as an option and what might work for us.”He said they researched the water park concept and after an “exhaustive search” and hours of discussions, it was clear that Splash Kingdom was the best fit.“It was a lot of fun recruiting a water park, but what most people don’t realize is that it took about 18 months,” Lawler added. “We met with council on numerous occasions and it took a significant amount of time...looking at its evolution and construction, it evident that it is a very complicated project.”He said the economic ripple effect the project would have throughout the county should be “very positive” upon its completion.“Weatherford has most of the hotels in the area so you will have several visitors staying overnight,” Lawler said. “One of the great things about the [Splash Kingdom’s] concept is that their season tickets are transferable. So if you’re a member in Canton, you can come check out the new park in Hudson Oaks.”Lisa Flowers, President of the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce, said they are excited about what Splash Kingdom will bring to the eastern portion of the county.“We are thrilled about the new tax revenue that will be generated in our area resulting from Splash Kingdom,” Flowers said.Dennis Clayton, Executive Director of the Weatherford Economic Development Authority, said they too are excited and congratulate Hudson Oaks on their newest development.“The Hudson Oaks water park is great for citizens of the entire county and Weatherford,” Clayton said. “The new water park will clearly attract customers and visitors from the Metroplex and from the west, as Parker County and Weatherford are an established regional shopping center; this Hudson Oaks project will expand the strength of the area as a regional entertainment center.”He added that the project expands sales tax, creates jobs and will spur additional development around it and Hudson Oaks shopping and eateries will directly benefit.“The Weatherford motels, restaurants and even shopping will also benefit directly and support the new Hudson Oaks water park,” he said.Blevins said they will not sell tickets or season passes until they have a definite opening-day projection.
Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, Ext. 102