The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau (“TWCVB”), a 501 (c) (6) organization, was gifted six (6) 35-foot boats (with a value of over $800,000 in January of 2011) from The Woodlands Development Company that travel a 1.4 mile corridor in the heart of The Woodlands, Texas downtown area.
Operational funding for the Waterway Cruisers comes from a variety of sources; however no property tax or sales tax from residents in The Woodlands is used for the operations or capital costs. Revenue is generated through fares for rides, catering, advertising and sponsorships, and transportation grants. Any shortfalls are funded through a portion of hotel occupancy tax collected in The Woodlands. The Woodlands Township Board approved $500,000 in funding for five years beginning in 2010. This funding comes directly from visitors to The Woodlands hotels. No property tax funds were used in this funding.
In July 2011, The Woodlands CVB Board of Directors awarded a contract to renovate the six Waterway Cruisers to Professional Yacht Management (ProYacht) of Kemah, Texas. The complete refurbishment of the Waterway Cruisers included the interiors, exteriors and hull bottoms. In August 2011, ProYacht began restoring the boats in pairs. All six Cruisers are were completely renovated by Spring 2012. The amount used for capital renovations in 2012 for the cruisers was $252,441, which came from the hotel occupancy tax fund set aside in 2010. There have been no capital expenditures since the refurbishment as of December 2013.
The Waterway Cruisers run Friday (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.), Saturday (11 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. – 8 p.m.) with the addition of special events and holidays throughout the year. All dates can be found online at www.TheWoodlandsWaterwayCruisers.com.
After taking ownership of the Waterway Cruisers, TWCVB and its legal team drafted a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking a CATERER/RESTAURANT to provide exclusive catering and catering management services which may include catering, event set up, reservations and guest satisfaction on the Waterway Cruisers on The Woodlands (Texas) Waterway. Three (3) companies responded to the bid with a proposal, and Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. was chosen.
On March 2, 2011, TWCVB Board approved the selection of Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. as the exclusive catering vendor on The Woodlands Waterway Cruisers. The one (1) year agreement began October 28, 2011.
On September 5, 2012, TWCVB Board approved a one (1) year renewal of the Waterway Cruisers Catering Services and Operating Agreement to begin on October 28, 2012 and end on October 27, 2013. All terms of the original agreement have remained unchanged with the exception of the one (1) year renewal.
On September 4, 2013, TWCVB Board approved an extension of the current Catering Services and Operating Agreement through December 31, 2013.
On August 12, 2013, TWCVB issued a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking a CATERER/RESTAURANT to provide exclusive catering and catering management services which may include catering, event set up, reservations and guest satisfaction on the Waterway Cruisers on The Woodlands (Texas) Waterway. Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. was the only company who responded to the bid with a proposal.
On November 6, 2013, TWCVB Board approved Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. as the caterer of the Waterway Cruisers beginning on January 1, 2014 to continue through January 1, 2015, with TWCVB having the right to renew for two (2) consecutive one (1) year renewals upon mutual consent of both parties.
Through the duration of the Catering Services and Operating Agreement, Landry’s has hosted a variety of public and private events. Landry’s option for private catered charters has attracted local businesses, groups and corporate group dinners. The number of private charters hosted by Landry’s has increased substantially since the start of the catering program. Future plans include continuation of public events in conjunction with TWCVB’s major Festivals, a variety of public dinner cruises and to continue developing the Waterway Cruisers catering program as a whole.
To host a catered event on the Waterway Cruisers, please contact Megan Bennett with Landry’s at