AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Plans to move the Big Texan are finally coming to fruition.
Things are moving quickly for the Big Texan.
Last year we reported the popular restaurant would be moving. And today, we learned there's a lot more in store for the tourist attraction.
The water park along I-40 is being taken down. Why? To make room for the Big Texan to expand.
While the restaurant is only moving one fourth of a mile from the current location, it will house a new year-round water park, hotel, museums and gun ranges to name a few.
"We are in the final stages on the architect drawings for the new Big Texan and it's going to be a lot like it is right now, it's not going to change, look Disney or plastic," says Co-owner Bobby Lee. "It's still the same old unique ugliness of the big Texan that we're taking down there."
Once the blueprints are finished, they will be presented to the City of Amarillo for approval, which they anticipate will be submitted by September. The restaurant itself will have a bigger kitchen, more seating, a bigger waiting area and a brewery.
As for the water park and hotel, Lee's vision is something big.
"We have two candidates that we've been talking to and both of them have some wonderful indoor water park facilities," says Lee. "What we're looking at is something that's state of the art, that will be very very grand, it will have lots of different slides, lots of things."
Bobby Lee's biggest hope is to present the city of Amarillo as a destination and not just somewhere to get a good steak dinner and drive on.
"We deserve it. Amarillo there's so many neat things to do here and not only able to promote the location, but be able to promote other parts of Amarillo, so that when the guests are here, what else is there to do in Amarillo? And we have that opportunity to let those people know how to get there, what's there to do and spend an extra night in Amarillo. That's big business. Tourism will change not just in Amarillo, but for the entire 5 state region with this new development," says Lee.
What will be done with the old Big Texan buildings? That's uncertain at this time, but there are a few ideas.
"Anywhere from making our own bourbon to a family style chicken house," says Lee. "So we haven't made up our mind yet, it's a great location and no it will not close or be knocked down, it'll keep being a restaurant of some kind. Not sure at this point yet what."
Rides from the water park are now making their way to Plainview to expand an existing park.