NEW CANEY, Texas (KTRK) -- Grand Texas held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Big Rivers Waterpark on Thursday.
Expected to open in summer 2018, Big Rivers is a 40-acre water park inspired by Texas rivers that will feature several rides and a lazy river.
Big Rivers will be one of the first elements of the 632-acre entertainment venue when it opens this summer, Grand Texas CEO Monty Galland said. The two-year construction process on Grand Texas' namesake amusement park and a sports complex is expected to begin when Big Rivers is completed, Galland said.
The Grand Texas Theme Park will feature five roller coasters, dozens of rides and an emphasis on live entertainment. The park's theme is based on Texas history, including Spanish, Mexican and German influences. At its opening, Grand Texas will be about the same size as Six Flags AstroWorld-the 57-acre theme park that closed in 2005, Galland said.
In addition to the theme park and water park, Grand Texas will feature several other retail and entertainment elements, including four hotels and 450,000 square feet of retail and dining in the park's Downtown Texas section.
Grand Texas completed construction on Speedsportz Racing Park, a kart-racing park that features two European-style kart racing tracks, in 2016. One of the tracks hosts professional kart races and international events, while the other services patrons for everyday use.
Grand Texas is located at the intersection of Hwy. 242 and Hwy. 59 in New Caney.