Resort water park set for summer arrival

Ground has already been broken at the site of Texanaland, a $5 million indoor/outdoor water park coming to Canyon Lake this summer across from the Lakeview Resort. Photo by Kevin Force.

by Kevin Force, Editor

By summertime, Canyon Lake will have its own indoor water park.

At least that's the plan of Loren and Debbie Drum, who have already begun building the park on Ledgerock Drive, across from the Lakeview Resort that they own.

"We want to have everything finished by July 1," Debbie said.

The Drums have already broken ground on the estimated $5 million project, which they are tentatively calling "Texanaland." The attraction will feature an indoor water park, an outdoor lazy river, and a bumper boat pool, and includes a conference center, a kitchen, a wedding pavilion overlooking the lake, and new offices for the resort.

Since coming to Canyon Lake 10 years ago to take over the Lakeview Resort, the Drums have been looking for a way to offset a long and slow offseason. They began planning the water park six years ago, but have battled countless setbacks.

"I read an article in a trade magazine about the Wisconsin Dells and how they had only a two-to-three-month season," Debbie said. "Their hotel industry would die, and they needed to find something they could do to sustain them the rest of the year. So, they began the indoor water park."

Loren toured the Dells shortly after that, gathering ideas and taking photographs. Soon he drew up the plans, and the Drums lacked only one thing to make the idea a reality -- money.

Over time, money came, but it was spent much more quickly. As they watched neighbors come and go, they began buying all of the land near the existing property, acquiring it piece by piece.

"We've been planning it in our heads for a long time," Debbie said.

Progress toward the water park was being made, but it came to a halt when the flood struck in 2002, essentially eliminating their busy season for the whole year.

Undaunted, the Drums kept their resort afloat and kept the water park idea in the back of their heads. Finally, they landed an investor.

Loren, who competed in the pentathlon in the 1972 Olympic Games, reconnected with longtime friend Harvey Cain, another world-class athlete. Now an Atlanta businessman, Cain liked the proposal for Texanaland, and the project began shortly thereafter.

Little time was wasted searching for contractors. Prior to acquiring the Lakeview Resort, the Drums owned a construction business. Loren, a certified professional engineer, is personally overseeing the construction of the new facility.

The first step in their process is a complete renovation of the existing lodge. The office will be relocated, and all of the units will be converted into two-story condominiums.

The lodge renovations are presently underway in hopes they can be completed quickly and available for the lake's high tourist season.

The four-story, 7.200-square-foot indoor water park will be the next focal point. Debbie hopes that it will be operational by Memorial Day weekend.

"We'd like to have most of the water park functioning before the season opens," Debbie said. "We're doing real well. We're moving as fast as we can move and we have a lot of people working."

The park will contain a zero-entry pool for small children, a lap pool, and a water aerobics area, in addition to the play grotto with water slides.

Outdoor, a lazy river will circle the area adjacent to the bumper boat pool, which should house 10 boats.

The conference center, which is the last part of the phase, may not be completed until the fall.

The Drums are also exploring the possibility of adding a miniature golf course to the property or possibly some new cabins or condos in the project's second phase, but those plans have not yet been finalized.

"We have gotten incredible response from everybody we've talked to," Debbie said. "The people who design water parks and the people who sell the equipment that goes into water parks really have given us positive feedback."

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