Things are moving fast for the Big Texan, and other expansion in East Amarillo.
In June, we reported there's a lot more in store for the tourist attraction. And today, we have a better idea of a time line for the new facilities.
Blueprints for the New Big Texan are finished, and have been presented to the City of Amarillo for approval, which they anticipate will be done soon.
Plans are still to morph the area into a destination with a water park, hotel, gun ranges, and recreational areas to name a few. The hotel and water park in the works may be developed by the same group who created the Great Wolf Lodge, and it will remain open year-round.
"The gentleman that developed the great wolf lodge in its early stage is the gentleman that we're dealing with. He is now active in pursuing a couple of different locations," says Co-owner Bobby Lee. "I don't know if it's going to be him and there's another group out of Oklahoma that we're also talking to, so we still haven't made up our mind yet on who we're going to be dancing with."
There will also be fiberglass teepees and tiny homes available with the RV resort, however the move of the current resort has not yet begun.
But it will not happen overnight, of course. Bobby Lee says he hopes the Big Texan itself will be completed within two years.
As for the rest of the subdivision, completion for those buildings will follow shortly after.
The City of Amarillo recently proposed a TIRZ, which would take a tax from the big Texan and where attractions will be built and reinvest those funds. Bobby Lee says this is a great idea, especially for tax payers.
"It's a real creative way for the public to get new facilities and new economic development facilities like what we're talking about without having to cost them anything."
And the city already has something in mind for what those zone funds would go toward.
"The city's talking about a multipurpose facility that would be basketball, volleyball and wrestling. And it would be for weekend tournaments, it would be for area competition."
"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.
Lee tells us the new location will stay true to the old location. Much of the decor will simply be moved.
"My dad was the one that had the vision for the new land down there. When he bought it, he saw that and he knew that there was an advantage to that and he told me it was a better location and one day we might need to look into moving down there. And that's the one thing that he made sure with the new location when he did buy that land that one day we would possibly use it," says Lee.