You can barely tell that the Flagship was ever there. The past-its-prime hotel, which was destroyed in 2008 by Hurricane Ike, has been replaced by Landry's new Galveston Island Pleasure Pier, a glimmering beacon to consumerism and consumption that celebrated its soft opening this morning, just in time for Memorial Day crowds to descend upon the island. And you know what? Despite the fact that parts of the theme park are still under construction, it's pretty freakin' cool. This single addition to the seawall has practically given the entire island a face-lift, and it's something residents are very proud of.
After months of construction on the pier, which first had to be reinforced, the theme park opened a bit ahead of schedule, though a handful of the 16 rides still aren't finished. That didn't stop an early morning crowd of islanders and vacationers from mixing with media to riding attractions like the Sea Dragon and the Gulf Glider.