German indoor park could be vision for future Astrodome

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Friday, May 1, 2015
German indoor park could be vision for future Astrodome
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Tropical Islands Resort is a climate-controlled park full of activities. Its concept is similar to one recommended for the Astrodome

BERLIN, Germany (KTRK) -- We are getting our first look at the resort county officials are looking at modeling the Astrodome after.

Harris County officials are on their way to Germany on an Astrodome fact-finding mission, and Eyewitness News will be there to welcome them.

"Whenever you repurpose a building," Judge Ed Emmett said, "it's good to have other examples of building that have been repurposed."

Tropical Islands opened in 2004. The building was originally a Soviet military hangar designed to haul long-distance cargo. NBow it's the largest free-standing hall in the world.

It's so big, the Statue of Liberty could stand up inside and the Eiffel Tower could lay in it.

Judge Emmett wants to turn the Astrodome into an indoor park, possibly with some of the same features available at Tropical Islands.

"We're not talking about doing a Tropical Islands resort with the dome," he explained, "but it answers a lot of questions about engineering issues you have to deal with. It's a public-private partnership, so we talk about how the financing works."

The judge is using campaign funds to pay for the trip.

"I think the public really expects the county to move forward with the dome one way or another. It's been languishing for years," Emmett said.