Folks in Weatherford are getting ready for an adventure.
A Grand Adventure.
Grand Adventure entertainment park is coming to town. Managing Partner Lonnie Pennington said it could be the largest entertainment center in Parker County.
The park, expected to open by the summer of 2019, will be located behind Home Depot. Grand Adventure is a partnership owned by the Pennington family, owners of Pennington Materials, who have been building lakes and grading construction sites for decades.
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The park is expected to have more than 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor attractions, including go-karts and mini-karts, outdoor miniature golf, the latest in arcade technology, an on-site restaurant.
Pennington said there will also be an “experimental attraction” to be unveiled later as the park nears opening.
“It’s never been launched in the entertainment world that we know of. It’s a new amusement attraction,” he said.
The go-karts and mini-karts will allow drivers to feel as though they are driving through a desert. The mini-golf course is going to be much larger than most other courses, Pennington said, and it will feature a tropical setting.
“There’ll be some really big palm trees,” he said. “We’re putting in a very large course, kind of like you’d see on a resort in Florida, comparable to Pirates Cove in Orlando or the Gulch that used to be in Granbury.”
The Gulch, which closed down several years ago, billed itself as the largest miniature golf course in the world.
As for the arcade, Pennington said it is likely to be a multi-player system as folks tend to visit entertainment parks in groups.
“I think the last few years virtual reality has become a big thing, and we’re trying to pick the best one at this time — but it will be a lot of fun and great,” he said.
Pennington said his company has had the four acres of land in their possession for some time. Then, one day, a friend gave them an idea.
“Typically, people who enter the entertainment world are people who’ve been involved in some capacity already, or who are in the construction business,” he said. “A good friend said we should build mini-golf. We started looking and decided we should go on and build a complete entertainment center.”
City of Weatherford Communications and Marketing Director Blake Rexroat said the new facility will be a fine addition to other attractions in the area, such as First Monday Trade Days and Chandor Gardens in Weatherford. Also, nearby Hudson Oaks already has Splash Kingdom water park and the new Urban Air Adventure Park, featuring trampolines and aerial sports, is expected to open mid-2019.
“Coupled with the events we already have, this is going to fit in perfectly,” Rexroat said. “This is exciting news.”
Rexroat also said this project and the one in Hudson Oaks are indicative of the growth in Weatherford and Parker County.
“Growth in this area is inevitable, people love it here, and you can see it in the projects coming to the Weatherford area,” he said. “These are opportunities to provide citizens and the public a better quality of life.
“Weatherford is a small town with large amenities. We’ve got the complete package.”
The on-site restaurant will not be fancy, Pennington said. It will feature items such as pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. — and with comfortable pricing, he said.
“It’s going to be a simple come up to the window and order,” he said. “It’s not really fast food, but a simple concept, and since we will be a come-and-go open-gated facility, our food prices will be lower also.”
Pennington said prices are still being worked out, but visitors will likely be able to pay for single attractions or can purchase a do-it-all deal.
“Everybody seems really excited,” he said. “Though we’ve not launched a big publicity campaign yet, folks who know are saying things like, ‘Wow, Weatherford needs something like that.’”