Pflugerville water park opens Saturday under new ownership

FILE - Texas Typhoon in Pflugerville (Courtesy: City of Pflugerville)
FILE - Texas Typhoon in Pflugerville (Courtesy: City of Pflugerville)

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — Typhoon Texas is set to open Saturday in Pflugerville, and owners admit they will have to work hard to prove they are different than the last ownership group.

Saturday is Typhoon Texas’ grand re-opening, but the park originally opened in 2014 as Hawaiian Falls. Under the previous management group, the park was plagued with financial and legal troubles. The park opened unfinished and late. Construction costs exceeded initial estimates by $1.5 million.

Park management laid off employees during the park’s first winter off-season. Financial records obtained by KXAN show the park had a net operating loss of more than $784,000 in 2014.

“If you visited this water park under the Hawaiian Falls brand we want you to come back and experience it as Typhoon Texas,” said Chief Financial Officer Ray DeLaughter. “We’re a completely different organization and that means we have different attractions, but it also means we bring a different culture and a different focus and our focus is 100 percent on the guest experience.”

DeLaughter wouldn’t give specifics but said the the park has invested millions into upgrading the park’s safety, look and feel and attractions.

“Our approach is to do things the right way and I think that applies to the way we manage our investments in our redevelopment of this park and the quality of what we put in here, and that runs all the way through to how we hire and how we manage our staff,” DeLaughter says.

Source Horizon bought the original management company, Harvest Family Entertainment, in May of 2015 before the start of that summer season. The U.S. Department of Labor slapped Hawaiian Falls with $86,000 in penalties for child labor violations in 2016.

Minor employees at the water park were found exposed to hazardous conditions, using dangerous equipment and working outside permitted hours, according to a Labor Department news release.

Typhoon Texas has no relations to the previous owners and bought the park in January of this year.

“We’ve done everything that we can since taking over this property to make it a new experience,” says Typhoon Texas General Manager Ty Weitzel.

DeLaughter says Typhoon Texas would not have bought the park if they felt it was an unworthy investment.

“I think this city was very intent on doing their due diligence on us to make sure we were the right fit for the city, as we were intent doing our due diligence on this project to make sure it was the right fit for our company,” he said.

Typhoon Texas owns and operates a water park west of Houston in Katy.

Jorge Rodas is LIVE at Typhoon Texas on KXAN News Today with a sneak peek of what you can expect

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