first time I came to Splashtown was in 2002. Like most first-timers
I decided to float in the Lazy River most of the day. Back then, the
tornado hadn't been built yet, and so the best rides were the Spinner,
the Flumes and of course, the Free Fall.
But the Lazy River is still
the best way to get around Splashtown. The current is fast and
you can circle the park within 20 minutes.
is found north of Houston, Texas--a city
infamous for replacing historic buildings, good restaurants and theme
parks with condominiums, banks, parking lots, and bad restaurants.
The Splashtown site seen here is located near I-45
and has long attracted the interest of real estate developers. In
2006, a rumor spread that the company owning Splashtown had sold
it to a private developer of office parks. In an area where it was
not unusual for churches to sell their land to Walmart, the rumor
had the ring of truth.
I decided that, if Splashtown's days were numbered,
I would at least have the photos to remember her by. Fortunately,
the development deal fell through and Splashtown stayed around another
year. Sooner or later, though, the price will be right, the land
will be sold, and buildings will rise where the Tornado used to be.
In mid-century America, waterparks were common. As land prices increased,
developers bought up the sites and replaced them with office buildings
and gate communities filled with McMansions. If you have a waterpark
near near you, visit it now, before it's gone forever.