Water park plans move forward at Ford Park

On Tuesday Beaumont city council members passed a vote to allow the city manager and city attorney to negotiate a project that would bring a water park and hotel to Ford Park.

Ford Park's General Manager John Hughes said he's confident the city council will pass the final vote next week to bring the attractions because of the benefit he thinks it will bring to Beaumont.

"There's direct payments to the county, there's the lowering of the deficit, there's tourism and jobs," Hughes said. "We're talking 500 construction jobs and I believe $10 million a year in economic impact."

Hughes said if approved, the Embassy Suites hotel will be located between the Ford Park arena and I-10 and will connect to the exhibit hall.

The water park would be located on about seven to ten acres on the northeast side of the arena next to the baseball fields.

Hughes could not yet release the name of the park, but said it will feature major attractions including slides, thrill rides and a lazy river. Hughes said it will be comparable to water parks such as Pirates Bay in Baytown, but with better features. 

"One of the ideas is that the hotel will have a roof top bar that they zip line into the water park," he said. "That would be an attraction in and of itself and that would be pretty cool."

However, council member W. L. Pate said although he supports part of the plan, he's not exactly on board with a new hotel in Beaumont.

"One of the things we have to look at is how this is going to impact the other hotels," he said. "Everyone wants a water park, I want a water park what can we do that comes out best for everybody?"

Hughes said the idea behind hosting major conventions, is the economic impact it will have on the entire city of Beaumont.

"We're looking at attracting conventions that not only fill up that hotel but fill up all the other area hotels as well," Hughes said. "We're looking at bringing in events that have 2,000 to 3,000 attendees and they all need places to stay."


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