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txtiger

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  1. I experienced Meow Wolf's Santa Fe location in late 2019, and the Las Vegas location summer of last year. Very cool, and noticeably steps-up from our own Seismique (though I enjoyed Seismique as well). My husband and I got as far as "overthrowing" the front-of-house at Omega Mart, before heading out to see other attractions, but probably had a few hours of effort ahead of us to get to the bottom of the whole thing.
  2. txtiger

    AECOM

    The 2020 'Theme and Museum Index' report from AECOM is now available. HMNS retains it's no. 11 spot amongst US-wide museum attendance (albeit simply because previous rankings from 2019 are held, due to the pandemic). Interesting, and not surprising, to see the attendance drops. The .pdf of the report, here: TEA_408_342874_210923.pdf (teaconnect.org) (Local waterparks also hold at nos. 9, 14, and 15 across those in the States.)
  3. This exact roller coaster attraction, on display at IAAPA's 2021 Expo in Orlando, is to be called 'Rolling Thunder' at Big Rivers Waterpark and Adventures' upcoming 'Fairgrounds' expansion: After the expo, this will be broken-down and shipped to New Caney.
  4. Some Galapagos Islands exhibit progress - per views available to visitors - as of 11/15/21:
  5. I still think the last street section of Avenida should be demoed, and the whole, extended block be developed into something like St. Louis' Union Station: https://www.stlouisunionstation.com/explore A monumental observation wheel like that in Munich could be centered on the Avenida, but w/ the long part of the wheel footprint oriented due-north. Surround the wheel w/ family-friendly diversions, including something like a Legoland Discovery Center. This would give Houston the 3rd-largest observation wheel in the States, after those in Las Vegas and Orlando, and a collection of family-friendly attractions beyond Downtown Aquarium.
  6. Per the Online Visitor Guide, looks like the Hall of the Americas exhibit is closed all the way until September of next year (2022) - Online_Visitor_Guide.pdf (hmns.org) Also, a neat overview/walkthrough of the forthcoming Welch Hall: Matter & Motion: https://vimeo.com/448644590
  7. Hate to gripe about anything, but who approved this play equipment...: https://www.chron.com/houston/article/Discovery-Green-renovated-playground-16047416.php?IPID=Chron-HP-CP-Spotlight ...when these equip aesthetics exist: https://www.playlsi.com/en/commercial-playground-equipment/playgrounds/pioneer-park/#playgroundstory https://www.playlsi.com/en/commercial-playground-equipment/playgrounds/signal-butte-park/ (DG's new play features have a terrible color palate for the location, and the equipment is way too standard-fare.)
  8. Would be very cool if this is what’s slated for the lot...: https://www.usthrillrides.com/gallery?pgid=jg23t492-ddf3c54d-556a-4bf5-a312-1a609afa5d12 but, alas... likely not.
  9. Was able to make it to "Seismique" on its second day of operation - the area's new experiential art attraction, kinda comparable to Santa Fe's "Meow Wolf (House of Eternal Return)" - (Strangely enough, I opened the year with a visit to that latter, there in NM...) The "Seismique" museum attraction is the type which is much needed in the area: funhouse-y, and intriguing for a wide age range. Tickets are arguably on the steep side, but the cost makes sense for the type of immersive experience. It's advertised as having 40 rooms, but the actual number is closer to 30, as best I could count on the map on the museum's mobile app. https://seismique.com/ Worth a visit, to be sure, as you feel safe enough doing so. Lots of hand sanitizer throughout, and of course good on the mask-wearing.
  10. While the Green's new playground equipment is certainly fine-and-good, I kinda wish more modern and/or imposing equipment had been installed. Something like the new 'Hedra Tower' system from LSI, Inc. would've been cool: https://www.playlsi.com/en/commercial-playground-equipment/playgrounds/signal-butte-park/ ...or an overall plan similar to LSI's/Mesa, AZ's Pioneer Park: https://www.playlsi.com/en/commercial-playground-equipment/playgrounds/pioneer-park/#playgroundstory
  11. Flagship retail would certainly be great... I'd still love to see a City Target put in, right along the curved edge of Discovery Green: https://www.bostonherald.com/2015/07/21/opening-day-is-right-on-target/ Back over on Dallas St.: A monumental Lego Store, w/ a Legoland Discovery Center (on the 2nd level of mixed-use, would stretch above other ground-level retail). https://dallasfw.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/whats-inside/a-visit-to-the-ultimate-indoor-lego-playground/ An M&Ms store: https://www.mms.com/en-us/experience-mms/mms-world-stores And maybe even a Crayola Experience (maybe the 2nd level of mixed-use on the other development block): https://www.crayolaexperience.com/plano _____ Other urban diversion centers: Chicago - https://navypier.org/ St. Louis - https://www.stlouisunionstation.com/ Seattle - https://visitseattle.org/neighborhoods/waterfront/ San Francisco - https://www.pier39.com/ San Antonio - http://www.shoprivercenter.com/shops/?genre=fun ^Loaded with observation wheels, flying theaters, Lego experiences, aquariums, mirror mazes, miniature golf, etc... _____
  12. If I were Skanska, I'd try to bring back some of the spirit of the originally-proposed Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage, and get some tourism-related attractions in, there along the edge of Discovery Green: I'd put in a heavily-Texas-themed Flying Theater: https://www.super78.com/flying-theaters http://dynamicattractions.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Dynamic-Flying-Theater.pdf (See also Seattle's "Wings Over Washington:" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaMiqp3Y9kc ) And a put in a large/exploratory, adventure Mirror Maze, showcasing Houston's history: http://mirrormazesint.com/mirror-mazes-international-floor-plans/#infinit1200 (or even better, something more largely experiential like "Nat Geo's Encounter: Ocean Odyssey" in NYC: https://natgeoencounter.com/experience )
  13. Loads of info. in the following Dropbox links, as provided on a Grand Texas Development .pdf, which I found on LinkedIn: Grand Texas - General https://www.dropbox.com/sh/09mhlgabeuu0k7s/AAD4VgIO3aQXlWFL0BgaH59Na?dl=0 Big Rivers Waterpark https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eyomug9a1ry189r/AAASUo5qhCFvGny6HS7lv957a?dl=0 Grove Factory Outlets https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4ol0latnncd3he6/AAC-_Cebt8CXPM1Dn69zpD7ua?dl=0 Grand Texas Theme Park Development https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2m1uf5ii4snalpy/AAABLPQ1j1qsGBX5MDZcRsFHa?dl=0
  14. I'd still kill for a destination observation experience of some kind downtown, and something with real kinetics would be the kicker. I'd demo Avenida de las Americas between Capitol and Texas (at the old, proposed Nau Center lot), and center a tower or wheel attraction on the pedestrian Avenida. Dopey me would group it with a flying theater attraction ( a la "Wings over Washington": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTVVuin0VTw&list=PLZ4DzRrHWnmIzJZvn4MEUY2myD9LzMNwO&index=4 ), and a large, adventure mirror maze showcasing Houston history ( http://mirrormazesint.com/ ). I'd otherwise love for Houston to get the first SkySpire: http://www.usthrillrides.com/products/skyspire/. (or, via ThrillCorp, whose Thrillocity is intriguing: http://www.thrillcorp.com/products/ ) Years back, a sorta-French Quarter-themed one was proposed for New Orleans: https://www.cladglobal.com/CLADnews/architecture-design/Skyspire-and-Conrad-Hotel-touted-for-New-Orleans-World-Trade-Center-redevelopment/314620?source=grid And not surprisingly, a developer has been trying to get a "Skyplex" going in Orlando: https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2017/12/14/skyplex-developer-look-to-2018-for-lots-of.html .
  15. Ah, gotcha. (My mind kept adding ‘full city block’ instead of ‘parcel’ after each of those notes, in-series.)
  16. ^The phrase "wrapping around the Embassy Suites…" is a key thing to acknowledge. With that verbiage, suggests the electrical yard will be re-developed/re-incorporated elsewhere, or maybe somehow on the top of new construction? Regardless, yes: that's such a prime block to be wasted on ground-level utility. I still wish downtown would receive some sort of an indoor, ticketed attraction, or series of attractions, like our own Nickelodeon Universe (a-la the new one opening up in NY at the Meadowlands - https://www.americandream.com ), or at a smaller scale: a Legoland Discovery Center, Crayola Experience, and/or even a KidZania ( https://kidzania.com/en - the first of which in the States is of course going to the Dallas area, instead). How neat would a conditioned, indoor park - something like Galaxy Station, but Gulf Coast Texas-themed - be? - https://berjayatimessquarethemeparkkl.com/galaxy-station/ Proper attraction(s) aside… at minimum, I hope a City Target concept gets developed somewhere soon 'round there.
  17. Threw this together briefly… Setting aside museums, zoos, family entertainment centers, family-owned amusement parks, and also setting aside touristy areas like Myrtle Beach, Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, and Branson, here's a bit of a breakdown of Houston's standing amongst other metro areas and the "chain" attractions they host. (Attraction cities like Orlando and Las Vegas are not included.) Interesting that almost no franchises, or other stand-alone diversions (other than escape rooms) have set up shop in our area.
  18. Big Rivers Water park is finally represented on WhiteWater West's website: https://www.whitewaterwest.com/global-projects/houstons-coolest-destination/ (Interesting that the 'AquaLoop' and 'AquaDrop' products are noted as installed…. Those particular slides are master-planned to be added to the speed slide tower in the future. Hopefully by next season?)
  19. Some good updates from this recent Chron article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-Zoo-eyes-big-changes-in-advance-of-2022-14401938.php
  20. The new Texas Wetlands exhibit opened earlier this year at the Houston Zoo... (May be worth an Admin merging that 'Wetlands' exhibit thread into this one, somehow.) Found some high-res images of the forthcoming 'South America's Pantanal' (opening next year) and 'Galapagos Islands' exhibits (opening in 2022) at a designer's website. Scroll down a bit, here, for those: http://www.studio-hansonroberts.com/on-the-boards
  21. Some photos of the city/skyline from Strato 550:
  22. Was able to go to one of the few soft opening events for Strato 550. Food is tasty. Chef(s) and staff, very friendly. Some snapshots, below. (Views from Strato 550 of the city can be found in the Skyline thread).
  23. txtiger

    AECOM

    AECOM's Themed Entertainment Index for 2018 is now available: https://www.aecom.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Theme-Index-Museum-Index-2018-2.pdf (^Houston Museum of Natural Science attendance showed meager growth, but still dropped to 10th place amongst museums in the US, and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island remains a decently-attended regional attraction. Worldwide Observation Experiences have been added to this year's report.)
  24. This is news to me…: https://www.aquariumrestaurants.com/downtownAquariumHouston/promos/new-tiger-exhibit/ Am at least glad the animals will be able to get some vitamin D.
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