Grand Texas Theme Park in Tomball: Bringing Some of that Texas Frontier Spirit to Texas

A California real estate agent who relocated to The Woodlands 5 years ago has plans to build a “Texas”-themed theme park on a foreclosed and forested site in Tomball currently zoned as a subdivision. The 100-acre attraction, which developer and EZ Realty broker Monty Galland envisions as “a combination of an adventure park, museum, retail center and agricultural classroom,” will strive to encompass and celebrate “all that is Texas, Texas History and the Old West.” Yesterday he showed abc13 reporter Sonia Azad a few rough sketches from his architect, out of the back of his SUV.

Grand Texas is Galland’s brainchild. “Met with the architect today,” Galland — or maybe somebody updating the project’s Facebook page for him — wrote on June 25th:

Project is moving along NICELY! We got to see the first of several sketches. It’s kind of like seeing your baby’s first ultrasound picture!

Galland tells the Tomball Potpourri he plans to open the first phase of the park at 11598 Holderrieth Rd., between the railroad tracks and FM 2978, by next April. This would include an indoor entertainment center with rock climbing and a mechanical bull, a play area with pony rides and petting zoos, and a “family-friendly” paintball facility. Planned for the following year:

Wild Texas Frontier, an island filled with activities for all ages, including high ropes courses that traverse a river, canoeing, catch & release fishing, and a giant maze; and The Mansion, a reception hall reminiscent of the Texas State Governors Mansion, which can be used for a wedding reception of up to 400 guests or more intimate business functions.

Where’s all the financing going to come from? Best of all: You can invest!


According to the Grand Texas website, the GTProp limited partnership is purchasing the land for $2,350,000; the developers expect the total investment to be between $5 million and $6 million.

That’s where you come in! For a minimum $200,000 investment (okay, maybe $50K for a quarter share), GTProp will pay out “a consistent cash return of 12% per year, paid quarterly for a period of at least 3 years.” Plus:

The investment is FUN, with initial investors in GTProp forever regarded as Founders of Grand Texas. Initial investors will be honored on the Founders Wall in Town Hall with a plaque of appreciation, receive free lifetime access for themselves and family (with some restrictions) to Wild Texas Frontier and Flint Ranch, and enjoy an annual barbecue at Grand Texas once a year, honoring the trailblazers that facilitated Grand Texas, and to commemorate its opening.

Welcome to the Wild West!

Photos of site and planned activities: Grand Texas

99 Comment

  • Forbidden City 2? If this gets built, hope it gets maintained.

    Before reading, I was hoping something along the lines of Fiesta Texas with rides.

  • Agreed, KJB. I wanted some freaking rollercoasters. That jarring excuse for “fun” down in Kemah just doesn’t cut it. I mean, we used to have the freaking Texas Cyclone!

  • Precisely. If it can serve as a replacement for the late lamented (by me) Astroworld, I am all for it. (That means lots of rides, and lots of waterways dyed blue.)

  • Was kind of excited when I started reading the title of this post … then the further I read the more lame the whole thing sounded. 12% return on my investment … that’s almost as good as Stanford and Madoff were getting.

  • I agree with MikeH. The consistent cash return sounds fishy. Further, a relatively recent California transplant with a plan to cash in on “all that is [stereotypically] Texas” just doesn’t feel right.

  • It does sound fishy … but why not? It’s only $200,000!

  • Vat a hoot.
    36% return on yer money, what a deal, and you are garenteed is status as a “Founder”! I should run a deal like that, bet they are doing some magik tax writeoffs too. Maybe I could call mine “Turnip World”, as in just fell off the turnip truck.
    arf, arf.

  • MikeH: You beat me to it. Was wondering if Bernie had promised such returns.

    I’m sure Gallan gets no up front fees for putting the deal together like Trump does before his deals go into bankruptcy.

  • “Turnip World”…ROFL. But that should go in among that wonderfully named, formerly rural little plat of streets bordered by Kuykendall, Louetta, Klein Church and Spring-Cypress, all named after garden vegetables: Turnip, Carrot, Tomato, Okra, Squash and Cabbage. There’s even a little commercial building called the Carrot Office Park.

  • Now,now. Don’t be a hater, y’all. Let’s introduce Monty Galland to that Nigerian govt. minister whose been needing our help with all that cash. There’s a win-win.

  • Not excited about this at all. My home is very close to this proposed park and so are a lot of others. What is this going to do to our property values? Traffic could be a nightmare. If I understand it right the only acces roads to this are Holdreith and Huffsmith-Kohrville. These are both two lane. This is a nightmare. I will protest!!!!!!!

  • I am excited! I just saw the new pictures on Facebook. It looks awesome! Here’s a positive comment “Good job Mr. Galland!”

  • Gwen, did you read the FAQ’s from the website? It explains the traffice issue.

  • Tina, you nit. Of course everyone read the propaganda on the Grand Texas website. This venture does not take into consideration the “hometown” of Tomball and it’s citizens. Traffic issues aren’t magically solved with a statement, it takes years to accomplish what they propose. And, it will take taxpayer money to pay for the road construction. The citizens of Tomball and the rest of this country are cutting back and you want to propose new taxes for me to pay to support Grand Texas? The general population of Tomball is not living in The Woodlands in a $325,000 home like Mr. Galland with nary a worry about where to build a playground to show off. In the meantime, the little town of Tomball is going to be inundated with traffic congestion; folks with more than a little road rage; and top it all of that off with increased taxes. Mr. Galland should build Grand Texas in his backyard (in The Woodlands) and leave Tomball alone!

  • you have so much knowledge! LOL

  • Tina, pull your head out of the sand, look around, do some research, pay attention and you’ll find that you can’t believe every word written by anyone. Including me. I did however use the website to find information on Mr. Gallard. Mind you, I’m not dissing the man for making a living and having a nice home. I’m only pointing out that he isn’t building this theme park in his neighborhood and thus have to deal with the issues previously stated. How do you NOT know that taxes pay for roads? And, how has it escaped your attention that road construction takes years to complete?

  • It’s my understanding Mr. Galland attempted to build a theme park in The Woodlands where he lives, however, his neighbors protested and shut it down. The nice folks in The Woodlands are not in favor of having devalued home properties, noise, pollution, traffic, crime and more taxes. I personally don’t want a theme park in Tomball for those very reasons. I pity the residents who are living near the Tomball development site. Hopefully they will voice their concerns to Grand Texas:, to Tomball Mayor Fagan:, to the Tomball Chamber of Commerce: and to the City of Tomball: You can also attend an investor meeting for Grand Texas on July 21st at 6:00 PM, at the Silverado 19 Cineplex in Tomball.

  • Wow, I am saddened that Ms. GP would resort to misleading the public. Ms. GP doesn’t even live in the city of Tomball, but is very upset at this development.

    I understand that we are not going to be endeared by everyone, however I NEVER considered The Woodlands for Grand Texas. I’m a good natured guy, who understands disagreement, but I don’t want to be lied about. If she said I wasn’t handsome or photogenic, I wouldn’t have a problem, but Ms. GP does not have the right to libel me because she can use a screen name.

    I have never presented it to The Woodlands. I live in TW, and I love TW, just as I love Tomball (having spent a great deal of time over the last two years in Tomball), but Grand Texas is not just Monty Galland. Half of the owners of Grand Texas Tomball live in Tomball.Their children went to Tomball schools.

    Also, we hope The Woodlands will be very supportive of Grand Texas as well. We believe there will be demand from many of the surrounding communities.

    Ms. GP is encouraged to voice her opinions, however she shouldn’t make stuff up.

    There is an investor’s meeting, and investors are encouraged to go. If you are not an investor, but interested in becoming one, please complete the registration request form. Although, the meeting is for the final prospective investors we encourage the public to show its support from Tomball residents.

    We believe there is a great demand for Grand Texas. We, as of 5:30 have had almost 100,000 visits to our website in the last thirty six hours, with overwhelming support.

  • Well, so tell us Monty, why exactly did you leave California? Rancho Cucamonga isn’t doing too well from what I hear.

  • Great question Tommy. I left California in 2004, at the top of the real estate market. My wife and I were in New York and read an article about the “Best Places to Live in the West.” Of the 16 cities, 4 were in California (overpriced), one in Washington (too cold), one in Arizona (too hot) and 10 were in Texas. Now, I have to admit to my ignorance at the time, because I couldn’t understand why 10 of the 16 best places to live in the West would be in Texas.

    My older daughter was about to start high school, and I was panicked. Rancho Cucamonga is a nice city, but four boys from the high school she was to go to were killed for cutting someone off on the freeway. We were trying to decide where to move in California, to provide the best environment for my kids. I had practiced real estate for about 15 years at that point, had a nice clientel base, had a pretty easy time of it.
    I anticipated the market would crash. I worked for venture capitalists when the market crashed in California in the late 80’s/early 90’s and didn’t want to go through that again. We began selling our investment property and wanted to take advantage of a 1031 exchange, so we had to find replacement property quickly. We decided to take a trip to Texas to buy investment property.
    We didn’t even make it to our hotel before we realized there was a whole world we had missed out on. We visited a grocery store and there were sixteen bikes out in front, and not one of them had a lock on it. That couldn’t have taken place even in California.
    I grew up in a bad area of Long Beach, CA. I went to Banning High School in Wilmington, CA, selected as the second worse school in CA at the time I was attending. I had always been willing to work hard and push myself to that my children would never have to live under those conditions. The area we lived in is a nice area, made the 100 best places to live in the United States list by Money Magazine a couple of times. But what we’ve come to discover is that in Texas, there are great communities, regardless of income, where there is a wholesomeness that even living in one of the best cities in the country, couldn’t provide.
    We arrived back in CA on the morning of the 4th of July (tickets were cheaper, and I am a frugal guy), 2004. August 5th, we were leasing an apartment in The Woodlands for my wife and kids so they could start school on the 15th (I believe is the correct date). Originally, the plan was I would fly back and forth every other weekend, but I missed my family too much and I sold my businesses and property in California as quickly as I could, and moved here in October.
    Texas has a lot to be proud of, and some Texans know that. But coming from someplace else, the best and the worst of someplace else, I have had the benefit of a unique perspective on Texas.

    Now, I’ve noticed a trend among some of the blogs, and I know everyone wants to provide the best dig, crack the funniest joke. Love it, have dished it out plenty in life and have to be able to take it as well. We can all google, we can all use the Tax rolls, but why? If we have a difference of opinion, it’s just that. The Bernie Madoff comments are funny, and if I hadn’t seen them myself, they never would have botherered me. I come from a finance background and the way you raise money in a credit crunch is by taking less, and giving more to the investors. I have become the spokesman for Grand Texas and I certainly was very active in its creation, but I was not the originator of the idea, nor am I the guy with the real money behind Grand Texas. I am a fan, who is willing to work very hard to try and facilitate a good idea, that will be profitable (right of any Texan), and that is wholesome and family friendly. Since moving to Texas, I’ve been blessed with two more children. Grand Texas is a place that my older kids will love and my younger kids will never want to leave.

  • I have several concerns about this venture. First off, the traffic will be a nightmare because of the two lane roads that will be the major used by this park. It is difficult now to get out on Hufsmith-Kohrville b/c of the Woodlands people using it to go to work not to mention the bicyclists who ride on these roads with no shoulders. But, I am in agreement with some of the other posts..why doesn’t Mr. Galland put it in his own backyard?? And if most of the investors are from Tomball as he claims then why does he not list them for the rest of the citizens to see who is backing this venture. I question how legitimate this business really is…and just so Mr. Galland and his partners will know I plan to protest this venture… I am for progress but not this kind of progress. Land in Tomball is very precious and we need to be very careful what we allow to come into Tomball. Just because it will be a good tax revenue does not make it a worthwhile venture for the citizens of Tomball. I say NO to this venture and will do everything in my power to see that it is stopped in its tracks.

  • Your reply to my question seems reasonable, except for one detail. If you truly believe that this development is good for Tomball, and no problem for the residents near the site – why not buy a lot across Huffsmith-Khorville from the park and live there with your family? It sure would show your commitment. If you need something bigger, there’s a nice horse ranch with a mansion that might be for sale on Spell Road.

    Also – not sure anybody told you yet, but when it rains hard Huffsmith-Khorville north and south of the intersection of Holderrieth floods and becomes impassable. So does the intersection of SH-249 and Holderrieth, as Willow Creek easily becomes “Willow Lake” there.

    Then there is the question of what really is in that water in the rectangular drainage pond on the side of the property next to the factory and railroad tracks. I would not use that for the water feature – at least before letting the EPA check it.

  • Mr. Galland, WE DO NOT WANT YOUR FACILITY IN TOMBALL. If there would have been a vote, AND THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN, THE CITIZENS OF TOMBALL WOULD HAVE VOTED YOU DOWN IN A HEART BEAT. You obviously don’t care what the city of Tomball wants, or YOU WOULD HAVE ASK FIRST. I’m with Ms. GP, and I also heard about the amusement park being shut down in The Woodlands, odd that there would be 2 individuals wanting to construct THEME PARKS within a year??????? If you want a theme park, BUILD IT IN YOUR BACK YARD, WE DON’T WANT YOU IN OURS.

  • I’m just going to take a moment to be amused that the prevailing sentiment around here is that property owners should be free to do what they want with their property, right up until the property is near your house.

  • Property owners have the right to decide if they want some cheesy theme park devaluating their property or not. It’s called “Deed Restrictions”There should have been a vote on this, and there wasn’t. This kind of hoaky crap never last in our area. The only thing it’s going to do is encourage the gang activity further down from the Willowbrook area.

  • Monty: Tell your investor friends to keep their money. This type of theme park is dicey at best and has never been well received around here. Ever heard of AstroWorld! How about Fertitta’s lame-azz Aquarium downtown? What makes you financial geniuses think this is going to work? Look at how Fiesta Texas has struggled. And ‘Turnip World’ offers even LESS than any of those venues. Yeah, I’d say someone’s been hitting the turnip pipe if you think this ‘stinker’ will fly. Maybe you add a mosquito and poison ivy exhibit. On the other hand, if you’re just wanting to throw some money away, let me give you my address……

  • LOL, I am laughing at all these posts! How many thugs want to go to a theme park that doesn’t have roller coasters? I can just see them lining up at the door to have some wholesome fun. (being sarcastic) Be realistic, they are all going to keep going to Six Flags. Some people need just need to find things to complain about and some are afraid of progress. I am glad you figured out how to use a blog!

  • I’m also surprised by the vitriol coming out of Tomball over this proposal! I wonder if it doesn’t have MORE to do with an outsider rubbing locals the wrong way, or, a bad taste in some honcho’s mouth over how the developer acquired the parcel.
    But, James, there are plenty of people that will eat this up! when/if it opens. It will have a stellar opening weekend, as it is situated in the midst of family-oriented suburbia, from west of SH249 all the way to east of I45.
    Don’t worry marketingwiz, this property is close enough to floodzone to INSURE a healthy mosquito/copperhead exhibit! Also, not everyone is flat broke these days, you know. Some are sitting on CASH and need a way to transmogrify it into a great big tax deduction… for years to come…

  • Deed restrictions? Are there actually deed restrictions that apply to the property that this is being built on? If there are, then that’s a whole nuther discussion. If not, then people around there have absolutely nothing to say about unincorporated areas devoid of deed restrictions. I’m not big on theme parks by any stretch of the imagination, but if there’s a market for it, and it doesn’t violate any land use restrictions, shame on those who are whining about it. NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY.

  • CK,
    Perhaps, if you lived near this proposed facility you would not feel the same way. We have very little land left in Tomball. Therefore, it is a precious commodity, and should be used wisely. Why is it when a developer sees a tree he feels compelled to chop it down…the reason this area floods now is because of all of the concrete that is being poured…my suggestion to Mr. Galland is if he wants to experience what Tomball was like yesteryear to visit the Spring Creek Historical Museum in Tomball. And I would like to know what in the world does paintball, a rock climbing wall, etc have to do with the history of Tomball? From everything I have researched doesn’t sound like a viable fact, it sounds like a scam to get investors…and Mr. Galland is proposing this venture as a done deal..he has not been before the planning commission, zoning commission or city council and anyone of those groups can say no…it is a long way from being a done deal and the opening in spring of 2010 will not happen…

  • As Tommy Muniz pointed out, the surrounding roads are prone to flooding, as those of us who live here remember from the April rainstorms. If the water had risen just a couple more inches on Holderreith south of the 2920 junction, a lot of residences, including this park, would have been completely cut off. This is simply a bad location, somewhere along 249 south of 2920, with better access and visibility is a much better option.
    If this thing is built, and with the current economy that’s highly unlikely, Monty and company can forget about any live musical entertainment in the park. Sound travels well in this area, and the nearby residents will have no qualms about calling the police if the local noise ordinance is violated.

  • I love it when people blame 1 flooding incident on a non-related cause.

    The April storms that flooded much of western and northwestern Harris County were beyond a 100-year storm event. No engineering design meets that standard and no citizen will pay for that flood kind of protection.

  • I don’t care if it floods or if there are deed restrictions or if the economy is bad..I simply to do not want this park in my front yard…I don’t want the noise, the traffic, and the scum that this kind of park always draws…I would not have a problem with Mr. Galland if he wants to build a reception hall..b/c Tomball is in desperate need of an affordable one, but the rest of this project …NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!! and I will protest this project…

  • From the description, this doesn’t sound anything like a massive amusement park. It’s just a family oriented place that highlights Texas. This is nothing like an Astroworld or a Kemah.

    It appears more like a place where companies hold annual family picnics or you can have a child’s birthday party at. Mon-Fri will probably be light to no traffic with Saturday being the big day. There are several places like this all across our region.

  • So Becky are you going to throw a tantrum until you get your way? I thought by the time you become an adult you outgrow that! LOL. WOW!!! I agree with CK…NIMBY, NIMBY, NIMBY and recruit more NIMBYs. Sorry, maybe your not an adult.

  • You love Tomball so much that you want the best for Tomball EXCEPT when you feel it’s inconvenient for you right? What about the rest us us who DO want it? Oh, it’s all about Becky and the friends she gets to pressure into repeating what she says.

  • Hey Tina: I don’t have a horse in this race and don’t really care whether there is an amusement park in Tomball or not. Certainly Becky sounds like the typical NIMBY-type. But that said, if there were a vote in Tomball–secret ballots and all!–and most voters voted against the amusement park, would you accept their vote? I’m not asking this from a legal stand-point, because I don’t know what the relevant laws are. But what if it turned out that most Tomball residents (Tomballians?) didn’t want it?

    Again, I take no sides here. I just like reading the passionate back-and-forth this issue has engendered.

  • I ALSO live in Tomball!! I have many neighbors and friends who also live in Tomball with kids who do want this.

    would you accept their vote?I would be disappointed, but what could I do? I will just keep on visiting the places I visit now.

    I wouldn’t whine about it. :)

  • I’d rename it Cheez-wiz Texas.

  • From marketingwiz:
    I’d rename it Cheez-wiz Texas.

    Why would they name it after you?

  • Ok, let’s assume for a moment that CK, Tina and other “pro Grand Texas” posters don’t have a vested interest in the scheme.

    Then examine the facts we know:

    1. The land was “purchased” by an unknown group of “investors” and it is their property to do with as they choose. Not so sure – the for sale signs are still up today with no “sold” stickers.

    2. The lot sits in unincorporated land. Nope, it is within Tomball city limits.

    3. There are no deed restrictions on the lot, and all major hurdles have been cleared. Incorrect – it is zoned as residential, and no official public meetings have been held.

    4. There is a lot of local support for the venture. A survey of several websites does not reflect it, but we shall find out.

    5. The park will open in the late spring of 2010. Based on information available from both City of Tomball and Harris County websites, the process to change zoning, receive approval and survey the site is a fairly long one.

    6. It will take a while to pepare the land and build the park. I would not say that a lot of trees need to be cut, since the center of the property is already mostly clear. If buildings are of shoddy construction they can be up in a matter of weeks provided a big enough crew is used.

    7. The park will provide plenty of good jobs. Well – the minimum wage did get raised to seven-and-change, so maybe teenagers could go to the movies twice a week with their earnings – but not what I would call a solid development that will bring progress to Tomball.

    8. It took a 100-year rain event to create flooding. Nope I counted 3 times in the last 12 months (with a drought and weak hurricane rainfall) – only one a 100-year event. By the way, FEMA just re-classified most of the Willow Creek floodplain – expecting floods to be more likely in the future.

    Where’s Old Man Tom Ball when we need him?

    So it will be interesting to see if the City and County “fast-track” the process. I’m sure there are plenty of Judges, Board Members and Commissioners with expensive tastes … that was a joke, don’t over-react.

  • Tina, who said anything about throwing a tantrum, but the last time I checked the Bill of Rights I have the right to protest anything I choose…and if you want this facility at your front door contact Mr. Galland and tell him to use your front yard. Also, I do not want my property to be devalued because of Mr. Galland’s greed. And obviously, you do not know me or otherwise you would know I don’t pressure people into anything, but I do debate issues, and convince people to have a change of heart. However, I want have to do much debating on this subject with my neighbors. Once before someone wanted to build a company here, and that was also stopped. Besides, if any of you have ever tried to get a permit in Tomball you would know that Mr. Galland would be lucky to be able to begin his project in 2012. Mr. Galland has not done a lot of things yet for this property: 1. no closing on the property 2. no platt to the city, 3. has not appeared before the planning commmission 4. has not appeared before the zoning commission to have it rezoned, 5. has not had an impact study done, and has not pulled any permits from the City of Tomball. Each of these will take time. Mr. Galland is whistling Dixie if he thinks this facility will be open in 2010. And like I said before, if Mr. Galland wants to build a reception hall, I have no problem with that proposal. But I do have a problem with this type of facility.

  • tap..tap…tap… this thing on?

    Hello? Mr. Galland?

  • KLM,
    I am sure he will reply when he has nothing better to do like the rest of us who are on swamplot reading gossip all day. KLM, I read your not even from the area so why are you so concrned? (Hmm…Busy Body?)

  • oops, concerned

  • Tsk, tsk, tsk Tina. You’ve already proven your interest lies in hurling about while the adults discuss grown-up topics.

    I don’t currently live in Tomball. With that you are correct. Attagirl.

    However, my family ties are in Tomball and the surrounding areas. And, I speak for family and friends in Tomball. Should these family & friends not have a voice because I am not a current resident of Tomball?

    Let’s focus, Tina, on the serious issues that face the community. How I spend my personal time doesn’t enter into it.

  • Glad you finally admitted to ONE of your lies. Keep talking so I can disprove more of them! Please! :)

    The citizens of Tomball and the rest of this country are cutting back and you want to propose new taxes for me to pay to support Grand Texas?

    Are you helping friends and family pay taxes, That’s SO nice of you! Maybe I was wrong about you, maybe you just give a bad first, second and third impression.

    :) Off to lunch now.

  • By the way I AM. I resident.

    Now I am off to lunch, then I have to go back to work.

  • Mr. Galland: thank you for your reply. For the record, I did not ‘libel’ you when I previously stated “it is my understanding …. ” you attempted to build a theme park in The Woodlands. If in fact you did not attempt to build a theme park in TW, and no neighbors protested, then I publicly stand corrected. To your other point that I am ‘making stuff up’ ….. not at all sir, I merely repeated the talk on the streets. I apologize for repeating something that I had not personally confirmed as being true. Thank you for weighing in on those alleged rumors.

    Regarding the proposed Grand Texas project, my original concerns which were previously stated (via your company website, HCN and Swamplot), have not yet been addressed. To be clear, I am not opposed to the overall development and progress of Tomball, however, businesses with real staying power, and who offer sustainable jobs, are far more beneficial to Tomball. Even though I do not live inside the city limits of Tomball, I am a resident of Tomball and I have an interest in what affects our town as a whole.

    I completely disagree with building a theme park in the middle of a residential area. In my opinion, it’s totally unconscionable and shows no regard for the families living in that area. Since you are a resident of TW, you would not personally have to endure the day to day issues of living near a public attraction. You state that half of the owners of Grand Texas live in Tomball. On July 13th, a Chronicle correspondent reported they live south of Tomball …. wherever the owners actually live, they are likely not living in the residential area closest to Grand Texas. Put yourselves in the shoes of the residents living near the proposed park. Try to understand their anxiety and frustration. There are valid concerns to be considered if your park is built.

    Rather than focus on the fact that some of us have a different opinion than you, it would be helpful for you to address our specific concerns. I applaud Tommy Muniz and Becky for laying out points worth pondering. I think we will all look forward to hearing your thoughts Mr. Galland.

    I’d also like to mention I find it curious that only positive comments have been posted on the ‘guest book’ area of your company website.

  • I am really appreciative of everyone’s comments, even Becky & Mr. Muniz’s. I will always respond with my real and full name, because I believe in full disclosure. Becky and Mr. Muniz do not even live in the city of Tomball, in part to avoid taxes and restrictions on their property use. I think Becky said it best when she said “I don’t care if it floods or if there are deed restrictions or if the economy is bad..I simply to do not want this park in my front yard…”

    She doesn’t care if it provides jobs, tax revenue to the city, opportunities for the school district or other benefits. The tactic of personal destruction is a commonly used one.

    My “greed?”. If Grand Texas was greedy, we would shoot for rollercoasters and Six Flags style rides. We have a vision. We are not only going to be owners, but participants. We want attendance, or course. We want income. I work 18 hours a day, sometimes with my baby daughter on my lap while reading Thomas & Friends to my three year old. Obviously we are not a non-profit. But our plan is to meet our obligations to the community, meet our obligations to creditor and investors, put aside for rainy days and capital improvements, and then benefit.

    We are involving outside investors, and I have to make sure they are made whole. I will not be sleeping, taking vacations or relaxing until that time.

    Why this property? We believe the city of Tomball has a sense of community that is not easily duplicated. I’ve seen it in the parades, the FFA functions, the other activities that get people out there. The property is wooded, which provides a natural barrier to the outside world (very important part of our motif), with a mild slope and good soil for our intended development.

    It has a great location. It is in the center of a growing community, 30 miles from Houston.

    Mr. Muniz, I understand your concern about flooding during heavy rains. WHO IS GOING TO GRAND TEXAS DURING HEAVY RAINS?

    It is not in any flood zone. Why? Because the city has gone to great lengths to create a flood detention basin to minimize flooding. That is one of the benefits of being in the city of Tomball, and not an unincorporated area. However, this project is in part paid for by development fees. These fees are paid by developers, like Grand Texas. In other words, it’s the new development that will alleviate flooding.

    Traffic? Road Quality? Both Holderrieth & Hufsmith Kohrville are county roads. The county will not spend money on widening, fixing or improving these roads without there being a corresponding reason to, and corresonding revenue to do so. Ag exempt land is not going to provide the county with the impetus to improve those roads. Revenue will. Revenue comes from increased tax revenue. Also, SH249 lacks funding to be completed. The state gets the lion’s share of sales taxes. If Grand Texas and Tomball are providing additional revenue, are they more likely to approve funding?

    Investor scam? I don’t think so. I’ve been a real estate broker in Texas for about 5 years and licensed in California for over 15 years. Yes, I recently let my license in CA lapse, because I need to take some continuing ed courses, and I’ve been a little busy lately. I’ve never had an official complaint. Also, my home address has been posted on blogs. That’s not nice, but I am obviously not going anywhere. I don’t live behind fences or have acreage like some posters. I’m a family guy. I don’t know who’s looking at what, please don’t do that.

    Marketingwiz must focus on marketing and not accounting, because he obviously is not aware of the circumstances on why Astroworld closed. It was a parking dispute and implied offer to purchase the land that prompted Astroworld to be closed. Also, Six Flags began buying every amusement park in the country on credit, which led to an overwhelming debt burden. We are not those types of parks, that is why we won’t be attracting undesirables. Fiesta Texas was built with deep pockets by an insurance company. They overspent. We don’t have deep pockets, and we are not willing to overspend.

    No, we have not gotten all of the approvals, plats and the like completed. We are talking about 100 acres, not a building lot. That is a timely process. We are working with several engineering firms to complete this information as soon as possible for the city’s consideration.

    RWB asked if the city were against it, would we fight it? That is a fair question. We don’t want to “fight” the city. We want to be a welcomed part of the community. We don’t want to waste anyone’s tax dollars on a fight. But given the support from over 300 individual residents of the city of Tomball, church groups, Boy Scout groups, Girl Scout groups, teachers, Civil War re-enactment groups, western lore enthusiasts, artisans & craftsmen, animal lovers and others, I don’t believe “the city of Tomball” is against it.

    We have already been approached by two different municipalities to relocate there. I don’t know if Becky called them (just kidding). We’ve also been asked to open a second park similar to this in another city in the Hill Country.

    Although that is very flattering, we believe the city of Tomball does want us. We’ve also had a few negative ones. Becky, Terry and others have let us know they don’t want us there. We understand. However, when we did a comprehensive search of the negative responses, we found that several of the responses, including some on this blog, were using the same computers or email to send them. We also found that some of the comments were coming from Amarillo, Texas. Is the traffic in Tomball so bad, that it’s backing up to Amarillo?

    We can agree to disagree. We can let the residents of the city of Tomball decide what is best for the city of Tomball. With revenue declines and Tomball city employees not getting raises this year, it is no wonder we’ve had public safety employees asking about second jobs. They may be left with a choice, Grand Texas or Greater Taxes?

  • Hey, Swamplot. Do you guys have an issue with my participation in this conversation?

    I am a confessed non-resident who has spoken on behalf of family and friends who are residents in the Tomball community. Some of those residents btw are elderly and benefit from having someone speak in their behalf. Additionally, I am a frequent visitor to Tomball and have been for the last 15 years. I have a genuine interest in Tomball. I believe Mr. Galland is also a confessed non-resident. (Maybe he should be kicked out the pool, too, unless he qualifies as having rights to blog since he is a potential property owner in Tomball.

    Along with others, I had an expectation of a response from Mr. Galland and when no one else asked, I did.

    Can I still swim in the pool or do I have to pack up my flip-flops, beach towel, and sunscreen and head home?

  • I have no problem with KLM. I’m happy he’s commenting and posting what Mr. Galland has said. Of course this isn’t my blog.

  • A couple of clarifications, in response to questions we’ve received:

    1. Swamplot does not reveal the email or IP addresses of its commenters, except at the commenter’s request. (Another exception: If you win the Neighborhood Guessing Game, we pass on your email address only to the prize sponsor, so the sponsor can arrange to get the prize to you.)

    2. Swamplot’s average monthly readership is well more than 3 times the population of Tomball (as of the last census and our latest stats). Clearly, readers are not required to live there to comment here.

  • I see this attraction as inevitable progress. Seems Mr. Galland has done his homework & is in the position of leading development into this quiet, sylvan area.
    Local, vocal residents who love their beautiful corner of the world will probably never patronize ANY commercial-use proposed for the tract. That’s just the way it is. But, the other residents of the area WILL, and, Huffsmith-Kohrville Rd. will change. It has been changing for several years though this particular land-use may seal the road’s fate as yet another 4-lane thoroughfare through the county.
    I know the spot: 20 years ago I rode Huffsmith-Kohrville weekly on my bike. My peloton headed to Montgomery from Champions. The area where the road snakes through the crossing of Willow Creek offers a dark tunnel of trees & a cool breeze and was the highlight (2X!) of every ride.
    All I can say to Albury Manor, etal. is, Pray for rain – lots of Allisons – so that bridging that creek becomes economically unfeasible.

  • movocelot,

    Huffsmith-Kohrville Rd. is getting ready to go under preliminary engineering design for widening to either a four lane curb and gutter boulevard or a 5 lane roadside ditch configuration. The proposed improvements go from FM 290 to Spring Cypress. This would pass right by this park.

    This is a county road project and not a City of Tomball project.

    I thought this place look really familiar, then I realized that the firm I work for it vying for the design job for this road.

    Have fun with this information!

  • Oh! well there you go! Now everyone can drive 60 through there like they’ve always tried to :-)

  • HAHA,

    I think the trees on the west side of the road near Willow will remain since that abuts an existing subdivision.

    From our initial investigations before going after the design work, it appear this definitely won’t be an easy one.

    I think you have at least another 2-3 years of enjoying your bike ride with the existing trees.

  • Mr. Galland’s responses reveal some inconsistencies – but those could just be confusion on his part. Read my comments carefully, I have not said “don’t build it”, but have expressed factual, valid concerns that should be heeded by anyone planning to build on the site.

    On the question of who would visit during a rainstorm – it’s not people coming in, but those that need to get out. Ask the locals, the weather will change quickly. So too with the question of floodplains, if the hydrological parameters of the area have changed enough for a reclassification by FEMA, does it not make sense to be aware of the situation?

    However, if the rumors are true – a 4-lane avenue through the area would help, especially if it had traffic lights at the intersection of Huffsmith-Khorville and Holderrieth. The issue there becomes the eminent-domain battle to widen the road in the tighter spots.

    On the comments regarding apparent secrecy and lack of planning, Mr. Galland and his partners need to accept their responsibility. It was frankly ill-conceived to make public statements about time-lines and approvals before verifying procedures with the City and County.

    I will not comment much on the question of personal attacks, except to say they are wrong, period. I have avoided them in my posts but have to question Mr. Galland’s intent in stating that he can identify the source and true nature of those posting here.

    Either he is privy to knowledge that he should not posses, or he is himself guilty of the same unfounded conclusions he accuses others of holding.

    Of course he could, and has taken the stance of the victim. It is also true that while this is not the best we could hope for in terms of development – there are other worse alternatives. As is often the case, only time will show the true intentions and results.

    However, it would server Mr. Galland and his partners well to consider how their words and actions will reflect on them. Up to this point, they simply have not made their case well – or engendered trust with their future neighbors.

  • Last paragraph should have read:

    “However, it would serve (not server) Mr. Galland and his partners well to consider how their words and actions will reflect on them. Up to this point, they simply have not made their case well – or engendered trust with their future neighbors.”

    The lesson is proofread, proofread, proofread.

  • Or better yet, how about Possum World, named after James’s family o’ critters.

  • Excellent points by Tommy Muniz. I’m a resident of Albury Trails Estates and of course will be directly impacted by this development. I knew when I bought my home that there would be development in this area, including the inevitable widening of Hufsmith-Kohrville. No problem there. I do not have an objection to this kind of theme park, but this is a poor choice of locations. The road widening could be years off, and in the meantime if people find it difficult to even get to the park they won’t even bother and it’ll be doomed to failure.

    My other objection is in Monty’s approach. He made no attempt to engage the residents of Tomball, especially the neighboring residential areas. If he had done so, asked people what they liked about Grand Texas, what they felt would be negative impacts and needed changing, he would have stood a much better chance of generating good will and cooperation. Instead he assumed everyone would just love this park and then gave the impression it was a done deal.

    Instead his approach has been frankly deceptive and unprofessional. For a start, he did not address GSP’s statement “only positive comments have been posted on the ‘guest book’ area of your company website.” This is true, my wife and I posted comments that were no more critical than those here, but were never posted. This is extremely dishonest, and makes one fortunate there are forums such as this where freedom of speech is respected.

    He claims believing in full disclosure. Then why were the names of the other partners kept silent for so long. They’ve been in business in the Tomball area since 1985, so it would be more logical for them to be the spokespersons. And why did he fail to say at the start this is a proposal, that the land purchase is still in negotiation, that no plans have been submitted. That is also deceptive, and has to make one wonder if this park actually gets built how will it be run?

    Then there’s tracking where negative comments are coming from? Not possible according to Swamplot, see Gus’s statement. This is also impossible through any reputable on line media. I’ve been working in IT for over thirty years and these types of statements from Monty are almost always blowing smoke.

    He claims he’s been approached by two other communities about relocating Grand Texas. Which communities? Who in those communities? City councils? Mayors? Again this is a statement with nothing to back it up. A second similar park in the Hill Country? Again, which city and is anyone willing to back up his statement?

    I’m afraid he’s lost a lot of credibility through his own words and actions, and in doing so is generating a lot of ill will. If there are public hearings, what he’s said and done will be remembered.

  • From marketingwiz:

    Or better yet, how about Possum World, named after James’s family o’ critters.
    I would support any theme park built anywhere (including–no especially in my backyard) if it were called Possum World.

  • This theme park is a joke. It is not a good location due to many reasons. The first being traffic, both roads that would need to support a theme park like this are inadequate and flood often (I know how often, as I grew up in Tomball and have lived here most my life). From what I’ve heard (from other developers in the area) there are no plans to widen these roads any time soon by the county (due to lack of funds).

    Secondly, this area, from what I understand, is zoned for residential development and not for a theme park that basically stereotypes Texans. There are too many residents in the area that would be negatively effected if the park were to be built.

    I also find that many of Monty’s statements are rather vague and he does not post any of the negative/concerned comments on his website (I’ve left a few).

    What will happen if/when this park fails? Who will take care of it then? Or will it just become a place for people to vandalize?

    This plan does not seem very well though out. For a savvy business-person I would have expected MUCH more.

    I will say this Monty, be prepared for a fight as we will not back down or give up.

    For those concerned citizens of Tomball please make sure that you contact the Chamber of Commerce and the office of the Mayor and voice your concerns!!

    PS… I like the comment about the turnip world!

  • WOW!!!! Don’t we all have a lot to say to Monty and Co.? I have been sitting here reading all of these comments before making my own and I must say as being a resident of Albury Trails Estates as well, we have plenty of available lots for Monty and others to build on. Then, not only can you contribute to all the wonderful things you “CLAIM” will benefit the city of Tomball you can do what all the other Californians do and go GREEN too by walking to work. The nearby Turnip World or whatever it is will be only a brisk walk away.

    Now seriously, obviously you haven’t studied the area to know the real truth behind how the local area floods. In a normal year, when not in drought, there are lots of hard rains. Floods occur often. Those would pose quite a problem for weekend themepark goers as the water can take days to fully recede.

    JL also brought up something I’ve been waiting to see as well. As a native Texan, the concept behind this park is insulting and makes Texans look like we’re all cowboys. Just what we all need another park/museum like all the corny ones up in the hill country along I10 towards San Antonio…Is that the area of the Hill Country that contacted you? And exactly how did those Hills contact you? Was it cell phone or landline?…more being vague Monty.
    I’ve been thinking over the past week since I first heard about this “Just what does paintball have to do with Texas history?” I have yet to find the answer in my 4th grade Texas history book. Those who are from Texas know they make you take Texas history. BLOG HOMEWORK: Everyone go check your own Texas History books and help me find what chapter that’s in please.
    And another thing, why does the website say the the property has been purchased when it still for sale? And a “Guaranteed” 12 % return…that must have been created by someone who fell out of the back of my truck.

  • LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Welcome to Real Estate 101!
    C’mon Monty you should know this. It’s the understood Motto for investing in real estate.

    Bad Location = Bad Investment

    If you haven’t figured out from all of our comments, this is a bad location. Enough said…

  • Mr. Galland, let me answer some of your posts. First let me give you some background about myself. You are right that I do not live in the city limits of Tomball, and the reason is not to avoid taxes or restrictions as you so stated in your post. The reason I do not live in the city limits is because my family bought this land over 90 years ago. Therefore, my land was given to me as a gift from my grandfather. However, my parents both graduated from Tomball in the early 50’s. Both my sister and I graduated from Tomball High School, and my neice will also graduate from THS. Because of our love for Tomball my parents paid tuition for us to attend Tomball ISD. My sister’s family moved into the city limits and are leasing a house so my neice could attend Tomball schools. Our land just happens to be on the wrong side of the Hufsmith-Kohrville to be in the city and Tomball ISD. My father has served on Tomball City Council, and I am the President of Tomball High School Alumni Association. My father has not only coached little league, but he was one of the first announcers Tomball ISD had at football games. Therefore, I think our involvement in the city and the school district qualifies me to have an opinion even, yes, Mr. Galland even if it disagrees with you.
    Thirdly, I do not have a problem giving you my last name because I have not said anything on my posts that I would not say to your face. However, that said, I will give you my last name when you list your Tomball residents that are your partners.
    I question your honesty on your partners living in Tomball because in one post you say your investors live in Tomball and their children went to Tomball schools, but then in a later post you say you have outside investors. Which is it Mr. Galland?
    And if you think Tomball is a great place to live then why did you choose TW to live instead of Tomball? Obviously, your love for Tomball is only in what you can monentarily get from it or you would be living in Tomball. Perhaps, if you did this park would be built in TW.
    I checked the H-GAC website to find out when and if Hufsmith-Kohrville will be widened, and the proposal says 11-30 years. The widening of this road is considered long range, and Holderreith is not even on the radar for construction until after 2035. So, I guess all of us that will be affected by this facility will just have to deal with the traffic congestion.But I guess Mr. Galland doesn’t care about that because we do not live in the city. It is obvious by his posts that he has never tried to reach 2920 from Holderreith between the hours of 4:30 and 6:00p otherwise he would know that traffic is backed up from 2920 to Mahaffey daily. The only outlet for us that live along this route is to take Holderreith to Tomball, and if this facility is built we have no options.
    I think Mr. Galland doth protest too much! Which makes me even more suspicious of this venture.

  • For anyone interested Tomball City Council will be discussing the media coverage of this theme park at 7:00p at Tomball City Hall on Monday, July 20, 2009.

  • Thank you Becky, we will be there.

  • Thanks for this information, Becky. This should be interesting!

  • I’d like to say Becky that I only had a screen name, so no I did not know your family history. You should be very proud of your family history and their accomplisments. Nothing I said was intended to insult you, rather point out the fact that the vast majority of negative comments have come from people that are not living in the city limits.

    Becky, from your comments I can deduce your last name and I am very appreciative of your work in the community. I think if we were not on opposite sides of this issue, we would be friends.

    The term “outside investors” does not refer to their geographic location it refers to the fact they are not involved in the day to day management of the company (outside the company).

    I’m not going to post anyone else’s name here, primarily because I have been attacked in the press as if this were an attack on you as individuals. It is not, nor do I intend to.

    I understand that residents of Albury Trails will be effected, but you will be effected by any development. Did you fight Saratoga Ranch with the same aggression? This would have created for more traffic with 600 homes than Grand Texas. It would have introduced low to moderate priced homes to the area. It would have further taxed the school district. Royce Homes is in bankruptcy, and is liquidating homes across the county, leading to the reduction in property values of their communities.

    I am not the only one involved with this project, but one thing I will accept responsibility for is the secrecy and unexpected revelation about this park, but it was not for the reasons you suggest. We did not expect the exposure the project would bring, and bring so quickly. We are looking forward to being provided the opportunity to explain and discuss our concerns as well. I hope that in the event the people of Tomball approve this project and allow to go forward, that Grand Texas and the nearby residents will be able to work together to push for better roads to ease traffic congestion. I have driven the route hundreds of times, and I do understand your concerns & frustrations, and I think some of them will be addressed, but I think many will not

    How do I know the different bloggers? First, many of you already emailed me. In that, you used different variations of the same screen name, or you put your addresses, or your IP addresses were registered with my server and provided to us.

    Because several different comments and guestbook postings were from the same IP address, it wasn’t difficult to determine that someone was using multiple emails and user names from the same computer. Yes, our guestbook is just that, it is for guests to write and leave comments for the public. It is not a blog or a forum. At 6:44 am I have no idea if any posters here had been the ones that had tried leaving tasteless messages on the guestbook, but that is why we originally began editing it.

    Becky, I did not post the information about the county widening roads, and I don’t have any information on that other than what our traffic assessment engineers have told us, which is.. there is not money to do that. I do know the county will not widen or improve the roads unless they have the funds to do that. Those funds will not come from the property taxes as the amounts they are right now. I understand everyone is concerned about their property, but the fact is the Grand Parkway has been stalled by people concerned about their property, not alleviating traffic congestion for the public as a whole. I was from California, and that state is paralyzed in resolving traffic issues because nobody wants roads/trains et cetera near their property, but they want an easier commute. Widening roads is an expensive proposition, and takes tax revenue.

    Flooding. The city is developing it’s detention plan as quickly as possible. Our property is not in a flood plain and is cooperating with the city to expedite the detention system as quickly as possible. Our low amount of impenetrable surface area assures minimal change as a result of construction. I met with engineers yesterday who had additional recommendations.

    Tommy, my vague answers? I wish I could be vague. I’ve responded pretty in depth for a blog. I’ve also provided most answers to your questions as they arise, with the exception of information I don’t feel is pertinent.

    JL, the property was originally slated to be zoned commercial, but instead the zoning was changed to residential. The residential zoning change was the result of a developer wanting to put the same style of homes you’ve seen in other parts of town, in subdivisions that are not complete or bankrupt. Location is important. We believe that the setting is ideal to isolate the property from typical suburban development.

    I’ve lost track of who didn’t want it to be a cowboy/wild west theme. I don’t know how much information you have on Grand Texas, and I can not recall how much information was on the site. Grand Texas is about Texas. A big part of that is the cowboy era, but it is also about the farming & ranching of the region, the colonization of the region, it’s about music and culture of the area. So yes, we’ll have cowboys, Native Americans (see Quanah Village) and vaqueros, but we are also going to celebrate the music of Texas from Bob Wells, to Willie Nelson from ZZ Top to George Strait (no I don’t anticipate they will actually be there, but local musicians who specialize in their music will be), all performed in a manner respectful of our neighbors, by maintaining decibel level readings. Events are planned to demonstrate Texas’ varied cultural heritage, including everything from Celtic dancing to Folklorico, from German Oktoberfest and Schweinsbraten, to Czech traditional festivals. Of course, in addition to the music, dance and food of Texas, we’ll exhibit the art of Texas, with invited artisans from painters and sculptors to metalworkers and leatherworkers.

    I know Texas is much more than cowboys, but cowboys are a real fun part of Texas. The Houston Rodeo is the biggest draw in Houston and the largest in the country. Perhaps JL is too sophisticated for cowboy tastes, and TurnipTruckDriver is insulted by reference to a very important part of Texas’ history, but I think the regular people like me, are very fond of it.

    What does paintball have to do with Texas? I am glad you asked. Gunslingers is paintball with a new dimension. Traditional paintball has obstacles in the form of old tires, old cars occasionally, wire spools and similar items. Gunslingers will incorporate three sided facades and more intricate scenery into the different fields. I am not a paintball enthusiast, but as research, I went, again and again. Well, I needed more research. It is fun. It is a lot of fun. By creating more intricate backdrops than traditional paintball, participants are given the opportunity to enhance the role playing aspects of paintball.

    One planned setting is The Alamo, another is a western town setting (sorry JL, cowboys are cool) and a third is a railroad depot. Now, you might not like paintball or cowboys, but Gunslingers will add a new dimension by incorporating catwalks and ramps (we are striving to make as many activities whellchair accessible as possible), so participants can play from angles never utilized before. Also, the scenes are based on actual events, so we hope this will inspire people to research the events and get a greater understanding of Texas history.

    I’ve driven the 10 freeway from one end of Texas to the other, and the only theme park I can think of that is right off the 10 is in El Paso, which is the complete opposite of our park (little theming, all rides) so I am not sure if we are going to be like them or not. I guess Fiesta is close to the 10 fwy.

    TurnipTruckDriver, is not saying they contacted me by email vague? I’m not twittering. I wrote about a dozen paragraphs in my previous response. I recieved an email from a Hill Country city activist, and I’ve had two seperate local communities express interest through third parties. I suppose you want their names and phone numbers. Here it is… just kidding. I’ve given plenty of information.

    This is not directed towards Becky, because I know her commitment to history of the area, but some of the comments making fun of the agricultural history of this region are just uninformed. This area was developed by farmers who dedicated their lives to tilling the soil and were proud of their products. I don’t know, maybe if there was someplace where you could get sense of the pride and care that goes into farming and ranching, or the beauty of the cowboy culture with its intricate literature, poetry and music, or the history of the complexity and diversity of the Texas culture…

    Grand Texas?

  • I’m sorry I forgot to address another issue. They’ve come at meet so fast by the “organized opponents” of Grand Texas, that I almost forgot. Why are the for sale signs up? Why is it still for sale?

    That is actually a bit of misinterpetation. We are in our option period on the property. As is typical with any development, it is during this period that property usage is assured. In the event that we can not be assured of its intended use, we will not close on this property and Grand Texas will be built elsewhere.

    All the terms of the purchase had been negotiated previously, it was just a matter of “do WE go through with it?”

    I didn’t intend to not include it, just overlooked it. It appears that your concerns are about to be addressed in a more public forum, so I don’t know how often I’ll be able to respond here.

    However, I do appreciate the responses in favor of Grand Texas as well as acknowledge the concerns of those against it. I hope that everyone is able to address their concerns, including me at the City Council meeting, and I hope that I may alleviate some of the concerns of neighbors.

    Grand Texas needs support as well. We need supporters to demonstrate their desire for a great recreational facility, more tax revenue for the city, more development fees to assist in completing existing improvements, and more jobs.

    We’ve had over 100 applicants already for jobs ranging from entry level positions like clerks to full time, professional careers like event planners, marketing directors and contractors.

    We’ve even had public safety personnel inquire about part time jobs. This is the first time in 20 years city employees have not recieved a raise, and some city officials have recommended cutting 7% of the city work force. That’s 7% of good jobs.

    I’m someone you can take potshots at, but those are people you’ve seen around town for years. People whose kids are in school with your kids. People who risk their lives everyday to serve you.

    I don’t know if there are any Grand Texas supporters that are seeing this blog. I know I get 300 emails a day from supporters and some detractors, but I know it will be detrimental to city services to have fewer employees, paid less. How will that impact the local economy? How can a city tell employees that they did everything they could to save their jobs, when alternatives like Grand Texas were shut out.

    I would love to see support for Grand Texas on this blog, or even support for Grand Texas to exist, but more importantly I would like to see Grand Texas supported at the meeting. I would love if supporters of family fun could take time from their busy schedules and show the city that they would enjoy Grand Texas.

  • This has not been mentioned and I am wondering if anyone else feels the way I do. I am a Tomball resident. To many when they hear the mention of Tomball, a hick, redneck town is brought to mind. Won’t this “paintball” type park only enhance this image?

  • As a Tomball resident, I am concerned about Tomball’s image. To some, the mention of Tomball brings to mind a real hick, redneck town. I know better, but won’t this “paintball” type of park only enhance this image?

  • Saratoga Ranch would have been on land already zoned as residential, that was explained by my sales agent before I bought in Albury Trails. As for “low to moderate houses” by whose definition? Royce Homes also built Country Club Greens just down the street with an advertised cost from $206,000 – $273,000. Albury Estates is comparable. The median home price in Tomball is about $148,000. Do the math, this is not a “low to moderate” home cost area.
    Did the residents of Albury Trails protest Saratoga Ranch? No, because Royce Homes did the one very important thing Monty did not, they went through the proper channels with the city of Tomball. They did not suddenly appear in the press and on TV with this development and blindside not only the city council but the nearby residents who would have been the most affected before the land had even been purchased or a single plan submitted for approval.
    Even if Saratoga Ranch had been built, let’s look at a few facts. First the city had approved three turn lanes into the development on Holderrieth and Huffsmith-Kohrville. That would have helped traffic flow.
    Second, “It would have further taxed the school district.” These are Monty’s own words. But according to the ISD website, Bond 2007 provides the funds for an anticipated growth of 3000 more students in the next 5 years. This includes expanding classroom facilities at two existing elementary schools and construction of a new high school.

  • Monty,

    Do not make assumptions about me or my association with Tomball, as you will fall short. You posted this in assumption of my personality, “Perhaps JL is too sophisticated for cowboy tastes.” I find that to rather funny. As I am actually on a HLSR committee! I have great respect for HLSR (in case you don’t know what HLSR is… it’s the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo). They provide many scholarship to the area and they serve the community. That is why I donate my time and money every year. I also have a horse and grew up showing. I was also a part of the FFA. Please do not try and pin me as a person in opposition of a particular lifestyle. Because as I’ve just shown you… you couldn’t be further from the truth.

    I grew up in Tomball, I was even a named representative of the Great City of Tomball and I have a lot of ties here. I went to school here, both elementary, jr. high, high school and even college, back when Lone Star College was known as Tomball College. I moved away to finish up my degree and ended up starting a family in Houston. We just recently moved back to be closer to our family and a City that we love and have served.

    I never said that REAL cowboys were not cool, there you go putting words in my mouth. The monstrosity that you propose building is not a fair representation of cowboys or of Texas life. Since when have you seen the cowboys of the wild west shooting paintball guns? It’s absurd.

    You said, “I suppose you want their names and phone numbers. Here it is… just kidding.” No, actually I don’t as I know Mr. Flint is one of your partners in this. The rest will soon be disclosed I’m sure. Oh and I DO have YOUR phone number, I have chosen not use it or post it here out of respect for your personal life.

    Also you stated, “but I think the regular people like me, are very fond of it.” Ummm, aren’t you from CALIFORNIA????

    You also keep making reference to this being a learning place for children to learn about farm life. We actually already have a place like that, it’s called the OIL RANCH! It’s a true representation of Texas ranching. Here is a link incase you do not know of it…

    On top of the oil ranch, Tomball already has a museum center that celebrates it’s heritage as well as the old life. The Tomball Museum Center. Here is a link to that,

    It shows a lot of your character by you coming on here and attacking me personally. I own a business and would never personally attack anyone. It’s unprofessional. Just because I do not agree with your theme park or the location does not mean I have attacked you. All I have done is voice my concern since my husband and I have just invested hard earned money and our life into our new home and community. If you want to be welcomed into our community you certainly have gone about it the wrong way.

  • One function this park claims it will have is redundant, wedding receptions. There is already Oakland Farms on Spell Road, which is in a lovely country setting,
    Speaking for myself, if it was a choice between a quiet country setting for a wedding reception and a noisy theme park, the answer is obvious.

  • And regarding paintball, there is, (not sure if they are still in business or not), a large facility only a few miles away on Grant Road,

  • JL, I was responding perhaps in error to what TurnipTruckDriver said “As a native Texan, the concept behind this park is insulting and makes Texans look like we’re all cowboys.” If that was not your intent or original sentiment, I am sorry. I’ve got a few bloggers here, it’s difficult to keep it straight.

    I was born in California, not Tomball. Californians didn’t want me there either (ha, ha).

    In fact, Tom Ball wasn’t even born in Tomball. Never even lived in Tomball. I don’t live in Tomball right now. You had the blessing, and I have no doubt you view it as that, to have been born in Texas.

    But rather than end up here by accident, I made the decision to move to Texas.
    We did so out of appreciation for Texas. My business made a lot more money in California than it does here. I represented banks for years in the liquidation and modification of their OREO (stands for other real estate owned), and my colleagues in California are making a fortune right now. But, I want what’s best for my family, in the same way you do, and that is why I live in the area, Texas values, morals & culture.

    I’ll bet there is more than a couple other people who live in Tomball, perhaps who work in Tomball or love Tomball with the same passion you do, that were not born here.

  • Let’s not forget about the paintball facility on Quinn Road in Tomball. See you at the Council meeting on Monday at 7p at Tomball City Hall.

  • Another issue that Monty has brought to our attention is the possible loss of jobs of the city workers. To make sure everyone is clear on this issue;only one councilman suggested that alternative to a loss of revenue to the city. To my knowledge, there has not been a percentage set of workers losing their jobs. Also, it takes a majority of the council to approve such an action and other councilmen have suggested alternatives to that suggestion and in fact, stated in the newspaper that cutting councilman salaries and perks would happen before anyone at the city would lose their job. Secondly, the revenue loss was not as great as first thought. The loss of revenue is down because of the downturn in the housing market.

  • I STRONGLY disagree with this project, there is way to much traffic congestion as is on Hufsmith-Kohrville and adding this to the area will be a traffic nightmare!! Being a new homeowner to the area I will protest this project, as well as several other people! Seriously, why not put this in “HIS BACKYARD!!” See yall at the meeting on MONDAY AT SEVEN!!!

  • as,

    Huffsmith-Kohrville will be expanded to a 4 lane boulevard or a 5 lane road in about 2-3 years. The planning and design will be getting underway in about 6 months. The project will go from FM 290 to Spring Cypress.

    Boudreaux Road will likely be upgraded in this time also to 4 lane boulevard from SH 249 to Huffsmith Kohrville.

  • Kjb,
    Don’t know where you are getting your information about the widening of Hufsmith-Kohrville in 2-3 years…This sounds like more propaganda from the developer of this facility…I checked out H-GAC and they have HK being widen in 11-30 years and Holderrieth is not even on the radar screen thru 2035. Traffic will be a nightmare for those of us that use these roads for the next 11-30 years. I too, plan to protest this facility. Tell all of your neigbors to attend the meeting on Monday night at 7p at Tomball City Hall 401 Market Street. We need to show this promoter and all involved in this project that we do not want Tomball to become a destination city with all of its problems.

  • I wish I could be there to see Monty’s face at the city meeting. We will be unable to attend that particular night.

    I live in County Club Greens. We like it. I once considered buying a second one… Prices have dropped significantly because of the ‘market”. I like Tomball.

    Many residents of CCG do not believe the park LOCATION is a good idea. Noise (it does carry out here!) from an amphitheater, gun shots from “western” shows…, idiot teens whose parents just drop off at the front door… METRO drop off! Some believe it’s another financial scheme to take money from another sucker. Some think he get gets the land, changes to commercial, builds one building, closed doors, re-lists the land as commercial property, BAM, worth big bucks now! Who moves in now? Better yet, no one wants the land and we have a real Texas ghost town! We could all go there a shoot a western spooky movie! Sooo cool…

    Notice you cannot post anything negative on his or Facebook sites!

    I think it seems strange to build an Old Timey Texas theme park in TEXAS… I think you should consider downtown. HISD kids could really use your help… Learning of how fun things were when we had to slave and KILL for our food and survival!

    I am glad to see others against the park’s proposed LOCATION. I now feel better about having to miss the city hall meeting.

    Thank you all!

    I will also help to fight this parks LOCATION.

    MONTY, put the park at FM2920 or SH249 corner, not in my back yard! I can see and hear the trees of the park from my back yard!

    MONTY, if you win this, I’m moving into your backyard…

  • There is a 128 acre parcel for sale off 2920 and Botkins Rd that would be a much better location. For a start, there are no housing developments nearby. Second, it is over $300K cheaper than the existing site. This location is more easily accessible not only from Tomball from also from communities along 290.

    This is just another reason why Monty’s insistence on locating his park in Tomball doesn’t make a bit of sense.

    Since no plans have been submitted to the City of Tomball, there is still time for Monty and his partners to find a better location. There are a lot of viable excuses, such as saying there are unexpected potential problems with drainage and the cost for dealing with this would be prohibitively expensive.

    Monty gets to save face as well as find a more appropriate place for his park. And maybe this time go through the proper procedures with permits. His entire approach to this, going to the press and media as if it was a done deal, is simply wrong. I doubt anyone, especially a city government, likes being blindsided like this, especially by an outsider.

    Do the right thing, Monty, reassess and find a better location. Otherwise you are in for a nasty fight that will only hurt your reputation and business. The opposition to Grand Texas in its proposed location is rapidly growing, well organized, determined, well connected, and has the means to protect our homes and way of life.

  • Becky,

    You might want to check with your Harris County Precint representative. They currently putting the word out for engineering firms to do the design work on Huffsmith-Korhville Road widening.

    Design work is anticipated to begin near the fall or end of the year. That typically means the construction is about 2-3 years out depending on funding. Unlike other governmental entities, Harris County isn’t really short on funds. This project is pretty much full steam ahead.

    The HGAC documents you refer to are only planning documents that can change at any time. The city of Tomball is likely the one having it pushed ahead of the HGAC schedule by asking Harris County to move forward.

  • i just hope this actually gets going. i had some doubt during the construction of Silverado 19 a few years ago but it is now flourishing. it was taking forever due to design changes and wasnt sure it would be such the success it is today. hopefully “Grand Texas” does as well as Silverado. i would hate to see it start up and go out of business a year later…

  • There are huge differences between Silverado 19 and Grand Texas. Silverado 19 was designed and built by a company with a strong track record for this type of project. Except for a vague reference that one of the principals behind Grand Texas worked at Astroworld, (and in what capacity has never been revealed), the Grand Texas developers have no track record for developing theme parks.

    Second, Silverado 19 is in an excellent location, it’s highly visible off 249 and easy to access. Grand Texas can only be reached by a pair of one lane roads, and the park would be largely invisible until you are almost on top of it.

    Third, the developers of Silverado 19 went through the proper zoning and permitting procedures, they did not go to the media ahead of time with a bunch grandiose plans, before a single proposal had been submitted. They also had the funding in place ahead of time. Grand Texas has done none of this.

    Grand Texas is a poorly thought out business plan with an approach that seems designed to irritate as many people as possible, including not only nearby residents but also the government agencies needed to make it happen.

  • please unsubscribe me from this post.
    reason: tired of reading same old comments. Nothing interesting and new.
    Thank you.

  • oops. wrong place to post this. Sorry.

  • EricW,

    What governmental agencies are irritated?

    The city of Tomball only cares when it becomes an agenda item for the zoning board. Until then, the developer can say whatever they want to plan to do there.

    People really should be worked up about this until it actually becomes an item before the board. Until then, it’s just talk.

  • A few brief observations from the Tomball City Council meeting July 20. First, as the inclusion of Grand Texas on the agenda was for informational purposes only, no decisions or votes were made by the City Council. There were several excellent speakers representing the neighborhoods that would be most affected by Grand Texas. All were opposed. No need to go into their rationale as that’s already been covered in previous posts.

    The meeting was well attended, with an overflow crowd that had many ending up standing in the room or out in the hallway. I counted about 12 people wearing Grand Texas stickers. It would be interesting knowing how many are employees of Ed Fitch, Monty Galland’s partner. Of course they had the right to be there, and one would hope they weren’t pressured into it.

    Anyone who attends is allowed to fill out a form with checkboxes to indicate being in favor or against a subject on the agenda. I didn’t have a notepad with me, so I’m working from memory, but as the votes were called out, I tallied only 5 votes in favor of Grand Texas, at least 26 against.

    It seems curious that few, if any, of the Grand Texas sticker wearers voted, though even if they had there were not enough of them to change the result.

    Monty was given the chance to give a presentation on the project. That’s only fair, since this was an information gathering meeting. Unfortunately, despite some pretty good Powerpoint slides, it felt more like an infommercial and sales pitch rather than a genuine reply to people’s concerns.

    I also noted after he was done, the only applause was from, guess who, the sticker wearers.

  • The Tomball City Council and Mayor are to be commended for their professionalism during the meeting last night. You made Tomball proud.

    The speakers for the opposition should also be commended for the courage to stand up in a public forum and speak candidly.

    The GT gang made no compelling statements regarding their support of GT. Why was that? No conviction behind the project?

    The issues put before the City Council and Mayor were well stated and accurately represented the concerns presented previously in this blog. M.Galland did not provide any answers. It would have been helpful to his side had he presented studies to prove the claims he has made with regard to traffic, noise, etc. One note he did indicate that he has some information about putting mufflers on the firearms they will be using at GT. We need more information on that. It was noticed that several folks found that particular statement a little hard to swallow.

    Becky made another great observation by pointing out that monies Monty has envisioned being spent in Tomball won’t likely be spent in any other venue than at GT. Folks will drive straight to the park, spend their money there, and then drive straight home; they won’t likely spend their money outside of the park. Good point. I’ve done the same when I’ve made a day out of going through Plantersville to the Renaissance Festival.

    Qestions I would like to pose to M.Galland – just exactly when, where, and to whom did you pitch this, or a similar idea of a theme park? And, why did it fail?

    And, he’s adept at playing the victim “… I didn’t know the power of a press release…”? Oh, come on M.Galland! You knew the power of the press otherwise you wouldn’t have taken advantage of a press release. Good grief. Who do you think you’re fooling?

    Don’t think for a moment that what you say or do go will go unnoticed. We’re all watching to see what kind of man you are, what your ethics are, and who or what you are willing to sacrifice for your dream.

    And, I commend those folks who showed up with M.Galland. That took some guts, too.


  • I’m trying understand people attacking something they still know little about.

    Currently we only know the location and a very rough sketch and that Mr. Galland is looking for investors.

    Nothing concrete has been presented to the city yet other than concepts. The city council was good holding this, but they can’t rule yes or no on anything until it’s submitted. A re-plat and appeal needs to be sent to the zoning board. On top of that, the developer has to get some site engineering to happen to see if he could even pull it off. He may have had some preliminary due diligence done to estimate cost and technical hurdles.

    Also, townhall meetings like this always have more opposition that proponents. You tell me one public meeting TxDOT has ever had where they had more proponents show up than opposed? METRO has pretty much the same problem.

  • kjb434,

    Not attacking.

    Just fact finding.

    Information gathering.

    And, exactly what is wrong with that?

    If, M.Galland wants to discuss and convince the Doubting Thomas’ by presenting information other than the artist renderings, etc, then the floor is open to him.

    So, to M.Galland, sir, I am NOT attacking you, your dream, or the folks who invest, or believe in you, or your venture. It’s the “Great American Dream.” However, it, and you, should be able to withstand a mere 95 posts on blog.

  • Excellent observations, Keepin’ItReal. I just remembered one rather peculiar comment Monty made during his presentation, that during the shootout re-enactments, blanks would be used, not real bullets. I guess that’s encouraging, since a theme park with live bullets whizzing around isn’t going to attract many customers.

  • kjb,
    You asked the question to name one meeting that people showed up where there were more proponents than opposition …I can name it…It was when zoning was going to be decided by council ( a previous council, not this one). There were tons more people there that were for it rather than against it. Just a note zoning had been sent to the voters at least twice before and had failed. Ads were taken out in the paper against it… but the public meetings brought out more proponents than opposition. I think if you take a look at who shows up at this kind of meeting is the side with the most passion..but don’t let the number that showed up the other night mislead you…there are tons more people within the city limits that are against this facility…and they will be showing up when it goes before the zoning committee…

  • There is no excuse for putting a theme park near a large population of people except for the money. It would bring in city revenue and help support the tax system. No one in their right mind wants traffic, noise and people in abundance near their home. Isn’t that one part of the responsibility of government, to protect our homesteads as homes? After all, we did not choose to live near a theme park. A theme parks wants to move into those neighborhoods. I live in The Woodlands and would fight this strongly if it were coming here. Put the thing out in the country and have people come to it. Don’t bring it to the people. If people want to live near a theme park, they will move there. A theme park is not the same as a mall or shopping area placed for the convenience of the residents.