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Dallas-based developer shares proposed Pleasure Island water park plan to Port Arthur City Council

Mayor Thurman Bartie says the proposed plan also appears to have one large hotel, one or two different types of pools and several types of restaurants.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Port Arthur city leaders are hoping to beat the heat in Southeast Texas by working with investors to bring a water park to Pleasure Island.

A representative from a Dallas-based development group presented the idea to city council members and Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie on Tuesday.  

Some residents believe it could bring some life back to the island and others say it's an opportunity to share this hidden gem. 

Resident Charles Merkelz visits the Pleasure Island marina often to work on his boat.

"It's really pleasant out here we forget that Port Arthur right there sometimes at night it's so peaceful," Merkelz said. 

He says he's heard talks about a new water park moving in and he's excited about it.

"It should be taking advantage of a water park would be excellent and even for the marina it would bring in more people," he said.

Not only would it be a water park, but Bartie says the proposed plan appears to have one large hotel, one or two different types of pools and several types of restaurants.

The development will provide the city with about 200 jobs. 

"Not everybody can be a carpenter or a scaffold builder, but if you have other opportunities that maybe I can learn hotel industry or be a life guard," Bartie said.

Bartie says the Dallas-based development group have yet to put a price tag on the project, but the city could have to reimburse the company up 70% of the project.

"The city manager along with the finance department will then approach city council with where the money is and what has to happen for us to be able to do this," Bartie said. 

For now, deciding on if the water park will actually make it's way to Port Arthur is all up to the investors 

"All is see is growth and potential from this and again like I said it's a dream but I think it is a doable and an achievable dream," Bartie said. "It should be taken advantage of a waterpark would be excellent."

Mayor Bartie says the next steps is for the investors to finalize the designs and of course come up with that costs, he's hoping to see a new water park in Port Arthur in the next five years.

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