Schlitterbahn coming to Cedar Park in 2012

Ashley Hughes

     The hottest, coolest time in Texas, coming to Cedar Park?  This $360 million resort will be close to twice as large as the New Braunfels water park. Coming spring of 2012, it is expected that a Schlitterbahn water park will open west of Interstate 35 on FM 1431.

     “I’m so excited to have a Schlitterbahn in Cedar Park! It will give us something to do during the summer,” Kirstin White, senior, said. 

     As of now, plans are to allow this Schlitterbahn to be a year-round resort. The project will take up about 95 acres. Premiering 2012, Schlitterbahn will open its convertible water park that can be enclosed during bad weather. Besides the many attractions of the park, it will include Schlitterbahn signature “transportainmant” system, an interconnected river system designed to allow guests to float from attraction to attraction, rather than walk.

     “It will do a lot more business if it is open all year round. It will pump money into our town,” Hailey Rosen, senior, said.

     An elevated tree house like hotel, with 230 waterfront cabins, is expected to open in 2014. The tree houses will be created with reclaimed woods, and 95 percent of the materials used will be recycled.

     However, some people do not fully support the idea of a waterpark in Cedar Park. There are concerns of wasting water, using unnecessary energy and spending too much money.

     “I think the whole thing is a waste of time. We already have Schlitterbahn’s and it’s just taking up more land,” Quincy Hearn, senior, said. “It will take away even more land from the animals that live there now, who already have to fight for homes because of humans.”

     According to the Community Impact Newspaper, Schlitterbahn Cedar Park will use substantially less water than if houses had been built on these 90 acres. This park will provide the latest in water and energy saving technologies. Also, Schlitterbahn is using LED technologies, fluorescent lights, low-flow fixtures, and recalculating the water in an effort to conserve water.

     “I know they’re copying the design of the River Walk we have in San Antonio,” Alex Clark, freshman, said.  “Your feet are always going to be in the water, and there are conveyor belts for the tubes so you don’t have to carry them to each attraction,”

     Sometime during 2014, a retail center will debut at the water park. It will contain about 160,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space that will connect with a man-made river. Also in 2014, a river walk system is expected to be constructed that will connect the water resort’s attractions.  A convention center will also be opened in 2014 to hold meetings and will be about 30,000 square feet.

     Due to the concerns voiced over the amount of noise this establishment could make, the resort will be behind hotels and retail buildings. The landscaping and privacy fence are also supposed to minimize the amount of noise.

     “It will probably affect the surrounding traffic and disturb the nearby neighborhoods, but everyone will have fun and Cedar Park will be recognized for something,” Daniel Sava, senior, said.

     This project will bring about 739 construction jobs, and 1,200 permanent jobs. It has the potential of providing between $2.5 billion and $5 billion for Cedar Park spread over the next thirty years.

     “It’s a good thing that we have a Schlitterbahn opening because it will bring lots of job opportunities for teens,” Stephanie Mettala, junior, said.

     Volente Beach owner Rick Redmond and owners of the Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels are collaborating on this resort. In their joint effort, they plan on offering more entertainment to Cedar Park. After 2011, Volente Beach Waterpark will close because of the competition, but the restaurant there will remain opened.

     “I think the resort idea will be a good tourism opportunity for Cedar Park,” Madeline Strickland, junior, said.

     Schlitterbahn expects about 3,000 guests each day in the Cedar Park location. Schlitterbahn is one of the most popular water park resorts in the United States and it has been the top attended seasonal water park in America since 1995.