After layoffs, lawsuits Typhoon Texas water park deal finalized

(Courtesy: Hawaiian Falls)

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN  — The city of Plugerville has finalized a deal for a new company to take over the Hawaiian Falls water park.

Typhoon Texas agreed to a two year deal to take over the lease with an option for renewal in ten years. The company says it will honor season passes purchased in advance before the change.

The Pflugerville Community Development Corporation also agreed to a lease payment of $1.15 million a year in consideration of the $4.5 million investment in waterpark improvements by Typhoon Texas. The PCDC will contribute approximately $434,000 annually, funded by sales tax revenue, to assist in fulfilling payments to Capital One. After the PCDC’s loan for the park is fulfilled (expected year of 2038), the lease payment will be reduced to $100 annually.

The park will open under the new name in May 2017 after a multi-million dollar makeover. Typhoon Texas owns and operates a water park west of Houston in Katy. Co-owners Ray DeLaughter, Keith Dalton and Terry Hlavinka say a large play area for younger children will be among the added attractions and improvements at the Pflugerville location.

Hawaiian Falls opened in 2014. It has faced layoffs, lawsuits and eventually started missing loan payments. The water park was in a legal limbo after its management company failed to make bank payments, owing nearly $400,000.

The U.S. Department of Labor penalized the water park for violating federal child labor laws. Minor employees at the water park’s Pflugerville location were found exposed to hazardous conditions, using dangerous equipment and working outside permitted hours, according to a Labor Department news release.

According to the Department of Labor, workers under the age of 16 were found operating gas-powered pressure washers, open-flame grills, automatic rotisseries, pizza ovens and walk-in freezers.

Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales said, “We’ve known that with the right operator, this water park could be a beautiful, safe and family-friendly destination for residents and visitors in Pflugerville, and we’re so pleased to now have Typhoon Texas at the helm.”

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