Former Astroworld GM at helm of new theme park, Grand Texas

The planned theme and water park is scheduled to open sometime in 2015

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Astroworld's longest-serving general manager will be in charge of a planned theme and water park scheduled to open sometime in 2015.

Chuck Hendrix's company, Innovative Leisure Partners, and a group of investors announced Monday they purchased a 640-acre plot of land outside of New Caney and plan to break ground on "Grand Texas" by the end of the year.

"I'm the guy that's remembered as the one that tore down the Texas Cyclone," said Hendrix. "I'd like to leave a different legacy, actually."

Hendrix said Grand Texas will be nestled in the woods off Highway 59 and FM 242. Hendrix said the park will boast a full complement of rides, as well as live shows and Texas-themed attractions.

"It's going to be very interactive; it's going to tell a story about Texas history and the Wild West," said Hendrix.

He said the full-ride package for the first phase of the park will be decided within the next seven to eight months. Hendrix said the full 640 acres will be built in phases over the next 10 years with plans for hotels, an amphitheater and possibly an RV resort park.

Hendrix said he also wants to enlist help from Stephen F. Austin University's forestry program to "fold the park into the woods."

"We plan to use the trees as natural screens around the different attractions and rides, rather than just clear cutting the whole area," said Hendrix.

After Astroworld closed, Hendrix stayed with Six Flags as a senior vice president for park strategy and management. However, Hendrix said he always felt there was a huge demand in the Houston area for another theme park.

"It's difficult when I drive by here, it still plucks at my heart string," Hendrix said, referring to the empty lot that was once home to Astroworld and Waterworld. "But guess what, we get another chance now."

For more information, you can visit the Grand Texas Theme Park Facebook page.

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