New water park breaks ground in Texarkana
By Zoie Clift, travel writer, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Sep 19, 2012
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The Holiday Springs Water Park is set to be Texarkana’s new go-to water playground. This Wednesday (September 19) marks the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility. The multi-million dollar venture will be built at Crossroads Business Park, a 1,000 acre multi-use area that is quickly becoming the center of an ongoing citywide business boom.

Plans for the new attraction include features such as 10 slides (including tube slides and body slides), a kids’ pool, an adult lagoon, five amusement rides, a wave pool, splash pads, an outdoor water theater and a “lazy river.”

“It’s going to be a very good tourism spot for Texarkana,” said Dr. Hiren Patel of Texarkana Hotels LLC, the company behind the venture.

The attraction is partially designed by the Neuman Group and Water Technology Inc., a company known for work on attractions like Legoland Water Park in Carlsbad, California and SeaWorld Adventure Park in San Antonio, Texas.

The water park is part of a large project in the works set to be an important catalyst for growth in the city. Dr. Patel and his wife Nila are owners of several hotel properties in the community. They’re working with the city of Texarkana in a partnership on the progressive undertaking.

Last October, work began on the first phase of the complex: the $18 million Texarkana Arkansas Convention Center and Holiday Inn Hotel at 5200 Convention Plaza Drive. The aquatic feature will be connected to the property and will be located behind the convention center. Construction on both ventures is expected to be complete around the middle of next year.

“The water park means more economic development for the city of Texarkana,” said Nila Patel. “For the region it means more jobs and business to local areas surrounding Texarkana.”

It also means fun. One of the rides the Patels are looking forward to is the “Cliffhanger.” Described as an “extreme slide with a high-energy twist,” it’s an enclosed body slide that riders enter through a launch capsule on a 60 foot high deck. A trap door below opens to start a vertical drop into the looping transparent slide for 265 feet.

The Patels said the inspiration for Holiday Springs came from a desire to do something different and distinguishing for the community. Their family buys season passes for Magic Springs & Crystal Falls [in Hot Springs] so they look forward to having a closer option. They said they would like to “add more thrilling rides and keep expanding the park to make it the largest water park in the area.”

“This is another in a series of great happenings in Texarkana,” said Jeff Sandford, President/CEO of the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce. “This will not only draw folks from out of town but will also serve our citizens. I’m very excited about this investment in the community. With the addition of the water park, the entire complex will be unmatched in the region.”

The groundbreaking starts at 11 a.m. and is open to the public. Featured speakers include Harold Boldt, City Manager of Texarkana; Wayne Smith, Mayor of Texarkana; Jeff Sandford, President of Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce; and Dr. Hiren Patel, of Holiday Springs Water Park. Arkansas State Senator Steve Harrelson will be a special guest. The address for Holiday Springs Water Park is 5501 Crossroads Parkway. Crossroads Business Park is located north of I-30 between State Line and Jefferson avenues and is around one mile from the Texarkana Regional Airport.