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Visit The Woodlands moves forward on arts district designation

September 21, 2018

Visit The Woodlands on Wednesday, Sept. 19, moved to support the creation a cultural arts district in the township and announced the next step in the saga of the Waterway Cruisers.

After a series if exploratory meetings, the township’s economic development committee on Sept. 5 recommended the township forgo the arts district application through the state of Texas and instead move to create one internally through the township, deeming the state application too labor intensive.

“We believe that for consideration the committee take a look at a cultural arts district in Town Center,” said Nick Wolda, president of Visit The Woodlands.

The geographical boundaries of the district, designed to promote arts in The Woodlands and draw attention to the growing visual and performing arts scene in the Township, have yet to be formally designated, but Wolda said at the meeting that they would more than likely encompass parts of Town Center, the Waterway and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

The decision to support the creation of an arts district clears the way for the committee to begin designing a plan and determine a location for the district, which will then be sent to Visit The Woodlands and the Township Board of Director for approval.

The board is also moving forward with removing the beleaguered Waterway Cruisers from their current home on the Waterway. In August, the board approved a contract with Florida-based MGS III Maritime LLC to dispose of the once-iconic boats.

The six cruisers suffered heavy damage during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 and were rendered unusable. One boat was put back into service in December, 2017, but was later rendered inoperable in February. The cruisers have been temporarily replaced with pedal-powered swan boats that visits can use to enjoy the Waterway.

“We are moving forward with the process necessary to move forward with removing the cruisers from the basin later on this year,” said Visit The Woodlands Chairman Bruce Rieser.

Visit The Woodlands met with several participating entities regarding the removal of the cruisers on Sept. 18 to begin devising a low-impact plan to remove the cruisers from their current location.

mrincon@chron.com

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