New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 21, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
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Page 10A —Herm,d-Zeitung —Sunday, December 21, 2003
Schlitterbahn looks to make waves in Galveston with new water park
Mobile home fire
By Jerry Urban
The Daily News
GALVESTON — Schlitterbahn is close to striking a deal to build a park in Galveston, and officials hope the site near i iouston will market the New Braunfels watermark.
Representatives of the world-renowned Schlitterbahn and Galveston city officials have come to terms to develop a $30 million water-park on Galveston Island.
The Galveston City Council Monday is scheduled to consider approving a 20-year lease with a Schlitterbahn entity dubbed Galveston Island Water Park.
The lease contains two 10-year extension options.
“T his is very good for Galveston,” said Steve LeBlanc, Galveston city manager. “We believe that this is a great gift to Galveston, which arrives just in time for the holidays.
“With this deal, everybody
wins — residents, tourists, businesses, the airport, the city of Qalveston — and a gap in services to residents and tourists is filled.”
Schlitterbahn plans to build a state-of-the-art waterpark capable of operating 180 to 200 days a year, in both winter and summer months. It s scheduled to open on or before May 1,2005.
Jeff I lenry, a principal of the New Braunfels-based Schlitterbahn, said Friday he expected to break ground before the spring if the council approved the lease. Little if any objection is expected.
“I think it’s a very, very positive reason for people to come to Galveston,” Henry said. “It’s a new type of entertainment. It will attract families. It will be another reason for people to come to Galveston.”
Schlitterbahn officials hope the new park also pays off for
the New Braunfels site.
The Houston area is a “dynamic” market, said Sherrie Brammell, Schlitterbahn spokeswoman, and Schlitterbahn officials hope to make fans of Houston residents and entice them to New Braunfels.
“Our hope is that there would be a lot of synergy between the parks,” Brammell said.
The attraction is expected to bring up to 500,000 new visitors to Galveston each year.
The agreement calls for the lease of about 19 acres of airport land to the Schlitterbahn company. When the agreement is consummated, Farmers Marine Copperworks would simultaneously sell or assign the leasehold it has on about six acres at the site to Galveston Island Water Park.
The City of Galveston would be paid $7,4^3 a month for
about 25 acres of land, including the land that Farmers had leased, according to a copy of the lease agreement.
Each year the amount paid under the lease would increase by 2.5 percent or the growth of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is greater, according to the agreement. If the index is used, the lease payment increase is capped at 4 percent a year.
The attraction is expected to provide a significant increase in sales tax, hotel and motel taxes and retail and restaurant traffic in Galveston. Property taxes also would be paid on improvements.
Brammell said although she expected NBGS International, of New Braunfels, to help manufacture the park’s equipment, nothing has been determined.
Herald-Zeitung StaffWriter Dylan Jimenez contributed to this story from New Braunfels.
New Braunfels firefighters prepare to enter a mobile home near the intersection of Old Highway Bl and FM 482 Friday afternoon. No one was injured in the fire.
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