By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
For more than a decade, the City of Corsicana has pursued a water park, and now it is beginning to take shape.
The Corsicana Water and Adventure Park is a 23-acre development at the intersection of Interstate 45 and U.S. 287, roughly behind the Denny’s, and projected to open in summer 2014. The official announcement of the project came Thursday night at the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet.
Developer of the project is Michael A. Jenkins, who has experience with Six Flags, Disney, and more than 1,080 other recreational parks around the world. He has more than 40 years of experience in the field.
The project began when the city asked Jenkins to look at the feasibility of a water park in Navarro County, and he liked the numbers so much he signed on as developer, according to Lee McCleary, economic development director for the City of Corsicana and Navarro County.
Having the water park in Corsicana will benefit the hotels and motels, of course, but also restaurants and other venues in the area. The estimate is that it will attract 115,000 people each year from Navarro County and surrounding counties. The estimate is that it will generate annual sales taxes of just under $300,000.
“The main objective of the Corsicana Water and Adventure Park is to provide a unique entertainment opportunity for the Corsicana residents and serve as a major tourist attraction,” said Mayor Chuck McClanahan. “The facility will offer unique, interactive experiences not found elsewhere in the market area, or even in surrounding cities.”
County Judge H.M. Davenport said the location of the park will help boost the county’s economy, and growth in the I-45/287 area, specifically.
“I think it’s a great deal and will be a big economic boon to the county,” he said. “The location is excellent.”
Added to the Cinergy Cinemas, which opened in 2011, the water park will be another entertainment draw to Corsicana and that area, he said.
Although there has been talk of building a water park in the area for at least 20 years, this one will happen, Jenkins said.
“Absolutely, totally,” he said. “It will be a first-class family place.”
Jenkins added that Corsicana is an ideal place for a water park, because it’s far enough away from Dallas not to be competitive, and centrally located to other counties and communities.
People already drive to Corsicana for dining and entertainment, he said.
“The City of Corsicana is fortunate to have Michael A. Jenkins as the developer for the project,” McClanahan stated. “Michael is the President of Leisure and Recreation Concepts, Inc. (LARC), founded 43 years ago by him with offices in Dallas, Tokyo, and Singapore. The Corsicana project will be among more than 1,080 theme parks, water parks, and adventure parks that Michael has conceptualized, evaluated, planned, built, or operated. These projects span the globe from Brazil to Thailand. In addition to the Corsicana project, Michael’s most recent project is the multi- million dollar Oceanfront Megaplex recently announced that will be located in Virginia Beach. Michael also produces Broadway shows for the Dallas Summer Musicals in Dallas where he has been the President since 1994.”
The park will be done in phases, with Phase 1 including a large lagoon with zip lines over it, and paddle boats, and a water fountain show; a “lazy river” ride, which will pass by a stage, and curl around two play pools; designs include several eating places, a beach volleyball court, and large go-cart course.
“We want it to be a wholesome family place,” Jenkins said.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com