AstroWorld is gone but certainly not forgotten in Houston.
You can thank Travis Scott for the mayor's renewed interest in a new Houston theme park.
Lyndon Rose, Mayor Sylvester Turner
Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott attract attention no matter what they're doing.
Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott seem to be everywhere these days, including on a striking cover of GQ.
Concertgoers at the Toyota Center got the thrill of a lifetime Wednesday night. And it wasn’t just because of Space City-born rapper Travis Scott’s sick rendition of Sicko Mode.
Mayor Sylvester Turner stole the show with a surprise announcement for the ages. He proclaimed his love for Scott, his album ASTROWORLD —and the beloved, bygone theme park itself. All you have to do is say “AstroWorld,” and the whole city’s in a tizzy of excitement, shock and nostalgia.
And it wasn’t just a casual reference. Mayor Turner vowed, onstage, in front of thousands of screaming fans, that he was bringing a theme park back to the city.
Now, before you dismiss the mayor’s comments as him getting swept up in the moment, hear him out. It’s looking like this definitely isn’t one big tease.
Turner put more weight behind his vow on Thursday, emailing a statement to PaperCity in response to our questions. It’s been a pretty wild ride.
“I am proposing to create a one-of-a-kind permanent amusement park in the City of Houston,” Turner writes. “This venue would serve as an entertainment destination for local families and attract interest from a global audience.
“I first discussed the idea a few years ago and it recently gained momentum through my conversations with Grammy-nominated performer Travis Scott, whose album and concert tour pay homage to AstroWorld, Houston’s former theme park.”
As though AstroWorld needs any introduction.
The City of Houston is currently in discussion with developers and architects and hopes to partner with investors. There are no plan to use public funds for the venture, according to Turner’s press secretary Mary Benton.
Benton also insisted that this upcoming attraction won’t be AstroWorld 2.1, but a uniquely Space City project.
PaperCity asked Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ park president Jeffrey Sieber, who is heading up the brand’s unrelated Hurricane Harbor waterpark takeover, about Turner’s comments.
“I can share that the best days are yet to come,” Sieber said. “There’s really not much more I can share as of right now.”
There’s some intrigue for you.
If you died a little inside on October 30, 2005, the day that AstroWorld died, there’s certainly some serious new hope. Thanks to Scott and Turner, Bayou City amusement park devotees may all start living the dream.
Before Turner presented Scott with a key to the city at the concert, he addressed the Houstonians gathered at the center. “With ‘AstroWorld’ man, and those of us that remember AstroWorld, and because of him, we’re gonna bring another amusement park back to the city. The city loves you,” Turner said.
Sadly, Turner did not reminisce on his favorite rides or memories of the park. But we’re guessing Greezed Lightnin’.
After this declaration, fans erupted. By 9:13 pm Wednesday night, a fan had posted a video to Travis Scott Fanpage on Twitter, with the message “The mayor of Houston just confirmed they’re building a new amusement park in Houston at the AstroWorld Tour tonight,” and a video. It’s racked up nearly 5,000 retweets and more than 14,000 likes in less than 24 hours.
There are some doubters out there, of course. “anybody from Houston know this isn’t gonna be done til at least 2035,” one user commented. Many Houstonians tweeted about Turner’s surprise reveal.
Some on Twitter have gotten confused, speculating that Turner’s vow refers to the rebranding of Wet ‘n Wild SplashTown as Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. Don’t worry. That’s a completely separate deal.
Still, it’s hard to imagine that Hurricane Harbor or this nebulous new promised theme park will ever top the beauty that was AstroWorld. But Houston’ll be happy no matter what we get.
We’re just along for the rides.