Epic Waters upgrades flooring, enhancing safety and aesthetics

AT: Tim Baldwin

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — After taking awards and surpassing attendance expectations, Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark continues to refine its offerings. Celebrating its second anniversary this month, the private/public project has not rested on its laurels with its various successes.

Following its first year of operation, the facility took a good look at the offerings to its guests. Epic Waters opened an outdoor wave pool in late spring but analyzed more ways to move the property forward.

“We looked at two things: our overall guest satisfaction and what our detractors were saying,” said Richard Coleman, president, American Resort Management. “We also looked at where our slips and falls happened. It came to light that what we expected from the original floor construction never ended up being what we thought it would be.”

Epic Waters began a search for making the flooring not only a safer experience, but a more attractive one. The research team looked at four different companies. After their search, management decided upon ATD Concrete Coatings.

Michael Hays, general manager, Epic Waters, had seen the company’s work at the Gaylord Texan Resort and SeaLife Aquarium, both in Grapevine, Texas. “I was impressed with the authenticity and the look of it,” he said. “The flooring at SeaLife had a nice board and sand feel to it that looked very natural. At the Gaylord, it had a nice upscale look that we wanted here at Epic Waters.”

ATD Owner and General Manager Tony Hernandez told Amusement Today, “They had an idea they were going after. It’s always fun to do a theme park of some kind. The one thing I appreciated about this project was the cooperation from the staff. It was incredible, and that’s not always necessarily the case. We couldn’t do it all at once, so we broke it up in sections and it worked flawlessly.”

“We’re very pleased. We couldn’t have done it any better,” said Hays. “We were looking for that wood decking feel, and that’s exactly what we got. The work was very top notch and the best customer service out of everyone we spoke with. And they stand by their work.”

“We wanted to round out a resort feel here, and I think we’ve achieved those results,” said Coleman. “It’s a much safer and a richer-looking environment. You might say it’s more thematic.”

The applied surface over the existing concrete was given texture. Epic Waters requested two themed looks: board decking and sand. The vision was to give the activity island in the center of the water park more of a beach feel. The sand look and feel were also placed at the entry to the lazy river. Elsewhere, throughout the entire indoor area, the appearance of boardwalk planks made the water park more aesthetically pleasing, providing a coastal resort feel.

The texture also provides a major improvement in preventing slips and falls. 

“No matter how wet your feet are, it has slip resistance to it,” said Coleman. “It’s reducing the number of people who found the original concrete to be slippery.”

To accomplish the major project, Epic Waters took four weeks during autumn to shut down for four days each week. Its most popular weekend days remained in operation. The entire park was then done in sections. Operation days lost for the project totaled 16.

“The wood plank design usually complements a project, but this is the largest we’ve ever done that pattern,” said Hernandez. “We didn’t have many challenges. It was a little more intricate to get around the slides, but it really worked out great. We didn’t have any stumbling moments.”

The enhancements came in at just under a quarter million dollars, according to Coleman.

“Our season passers noticed it immediately,” he said. 

Coleman expressed interest in applying the  wood plank surface vertically to the lazy river wall, taking the appearance thematically beyond the smooth surface. That upgrade is currently in the planning.


This article appears in the JANUARY 2020 issue of Amusement Today.
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