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2007-01-11

Ride the waves at Flying L Water Park

By Stepanie Day

Forget riding into the sunset on horseback-that’s passé at Flying L Guest Ranch. The wave of the future is…waves. The western-themed Lone Star Lagoon Water Park is scheduled to open this year in May.

Flying L became a “dude ranch” in 1946 when it was purchased from Bandera’s original Polish settlers by John Lapham, who boasted that he would bring a modern airport to Bandera.

Lapham, a retired Air Corps colonel, dreamed of building a place where past and present would meet in harmony. He soon had an air strip, hangers and even started a flight school.

The air strip, unlike the memories held by Bandera’s “old timers,” is gone now. Flying L has become a unique western resort and conference center. It hosts family vacations and reunions and corporate, golf, youth and church groups. Golf tournaments are held at the Flying L course. Its two restaurants offer guests fine cuisine. Being a guest at the guest ranch entitles visitors to enjoy western activities and entertainment, accommodations and meeting facilities. Those are available through both corporate and leisure packages.

Add to that a new dream that would probably have pleased dream-builder Col. Lapham, a family water park.

WaterPark Experts of Seguin is scheduled to build a 1.5-acre water park at Flying L. The western town Lone Star Lagoon water park will feature a lazy river, a children’s water brigade, a covered wagon slide, an old west fort, a water tower, little squirts, a wave pool, a children’s spray deck, a crossing walk, three waterfalls and a 101-foot waterslide.

Initially, the water park will be open to the public for a fee. Hotel guests will receive priority treatment. If Flying L’s tourist base expands and fills the water park to capacity, it will close to the public.

The 770-acre Flying L Guest Ranch celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Continued success over those 60 years has been chiseled out of change. For example, 16 new timeshare condos have been built to compliment the water park, an ongoing project that started approximately two years ago.

Out of the 59 condos at Flying L, 23 are hotel villas and 36 are timeshare units. Those who purchase Flying L timeshares are buying into the area’s most versatile guest ranch. Guests will have access to golf, the country club, horseback riding, a seven-day-a-week “Kid’s Club,” two swimming pools, the water park, lighted tennis and basketball courts, volleyball, fishing, horse shoe pits, two restaurants and “tons of activities.”

Timeshares themselves are deeded. They can be willed to children. They can be used at Flying L or exchanged for one of 2,000 locations in 80 countries-or even a cruise. The newest timeshare innovation is offering tour ship cruises.

Flying L expects to expand its local employment base and sales force this spring when the water park opens.

For more information, call 1-800-292-5134.