Schlitterbahn

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Schlitterbahn
Privately/Family Owned Company
Industry Amusement park Waterpark operator
Founded 1979
Headquarters New Braunfels, Texas
Area served
Texas
Kansas
Key people
Henry Family
Website http://www.schlitterbahn.com

Schlitterbahn is a family-owned and operated company based in New Braunfels, Texas. Schlitterbahn began its first park, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, in 1979.[1] Since then, Schlitterbahn has developed three waterparks located in Texas and one in Kansas City, Kansas.

Schlitterbahn Waterparks are summer seasonal water parks. They typically operate from late April to mid-September.[2] Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, which opened in 2006, has one indoor section that has limited operation during fall and winter.

Current Parks[edit]

New Braunfels, Texas[edit]

Entrance to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas.

The first of the parks was in New Braunfels and opened in 1979. The park was named "slippery road" in German because of the local area's German heritage. It originally consisted of four waterslides. As of 2014, the park had won Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for 15 years straight. The park currently employs 2000 seasonal workers.[3]

South Padre Island, Texas[edit]

The park in South Padre Island opened in 2001.[4] An indoor section opened in 2012.[5]

On March 6, 2013, Nicolas “Nico” Benavidez, a 20 year old seasonal employee was fatally injured when an overhead gate slammed down and pinned him and another worker. He was left on life support for organ donation and later died from the injuries on March 11th.[6][7][8] OSHA investigated and fined Schlitterbahn for six safety violations related to the fatal incident.[9][10]

Galveston, Texas[edit]

Schlitterbahn in Galveston, Texas

The 26-acre Schlitterbahn park in Galveston opened in 2006, and is open for part of every month of the year.[11]

Kansas City, Kansas[edit]

The first phase of the park in Kansas City opened in July 2009.[12] The park opens each year in May.[13] The park is home to more than a mile of interconnected river rides.

On August 7 2016, a 10 year old child, Caleb Thomas Schwab, son of Kansas representative Scott Schwab, was killed in the park while riding the Verrückt, a water raft ride touted as the world's tallest water slide. Caleb died before reaching the bottom from a fatal neck injury sustained during the ride. Investigtors concluded he was decapitated. Two other unrelated riders in the same raft sustained injuries. The ride was decommissioned and is being demolished.[14] [15][16]

Corpus Christi, Texas[edit]

In May 2012, Schlitterbahn announced that it would move forward with plans to begin construction of a new water park in the Corpus Christi-Padre Island area.[17] It was announced that the park would open during the summer of 2013, but due to various delays ground breaking didn't take place until February 2013. A 574-acre plan for the city includes a marina, the Schlitterbahn water park with lodging, and a golf course.[18] Vendors complained, and even sued, Schlitterbahn over $500,000 in unpaid bills on the Corpus Christi project. After several months, Schlitterbahn paid the vendors and threw them a party.[19] The opening has been delayed until sometime in the summer of 2015.[2] Schlitterbahn North Padre opened on June 20, 2015 with limited rides and attractions.

Projects in development[edit]

Fort Lauderdale, Florida[edit]

A 4 year long stalled project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has gotten final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to construct a 64-acre water park at the old Fort Lauderdale Stadium.[20] The initial project will use portions of the old stadium to construct a castle-like entrance that will include lodging, dining, and shopping facilities. Other projects include incorporating the neighboring Lockhart Stadium into the plan by expanding the park around that stadium. South Florida families are urging for the project to become a reality, but while no timetable has been set on when construction will begin, the park was predicted to open no later than 2017.

A lawsuit between Fort Lauderdale and nearby Rapids Water Park has delayed the project. On March 29, 2017 federal U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez ruled against the City of Fort Lauderdale in the case stating they "did not follow their own charter" in awarding the property lease to Schlitterbahn without conducting a competitive bid process and declared the lease "invalid, null and void." [21]

Cedar Park, Texas[edit]

There are plans for a waterpark in Cedar Park, Texas,[22] but plans for the park are currently on hold, although conversations continue.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Loose, Cindy (July 4, 2004). "Water park fans say Texas' Schlitterbahn is the slippiest, drippiest of them all. We had to take the plunge". The Washington Post. 
  2. ^ a b "New luxury cabanas, food coming to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Galveston". San Antonio Express-News. 
  3. ^ "The New Braunfels park has been recognized as the World's Best... Photo-5979449.81353 – Houston Chronicle". Houston Chronicle. 
  4. ^ "35 fun facts about Schlitterbahn on its 35th anniversary". Houston Chronicle. 
  5. ^ "In winter, the Texas coast is a bargain". dallasnews.com. 
  6. ^ Editor (2013-03-09). "WEB EXCLUSIVE: Waterpark employee remains critical". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  7. ^ Staff, Action 4 News. "Hospital: Lifeguard dies after accident at Schlitterbahn". KGBT. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  8. ^ Editor (2013-03-11). "UPDATE: Schlitterbahn employee injured in accident dies". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  9. ^ Editor (2013-08-30). "Schlitterbahn cited $96k for fatality". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  10. ^ "2013 - 08/27/2013 - South Padre Island water park cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for failing to protect workers from hazardous energy sources". www.osha.gov. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  11. ^ "16 fun facts about Schlitterbahn Galveston". Houston Chronicle. 
  12. ^ "Schlitterbahn water park opens". Kansas City Business Journal. 
  13. ^ "A deluge of options as KC-area water parks open this weekend". kansascity. 
  14. ^ "Schlitterbahn will close Verrückt water slide where 10-year-old boy was killed". The Kansas City Star. 
  15. ^ "Another family says raft on Schlitterbahn's Verrückt went airborne on July ride". The Kansas City Star. 
  16. ^ News, A. B. C. (2017-02-14). "Family of boy killed on water slide: 'We're still hurting'". ABC News. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  17. ^ Jessica Savage. "Corpus Christi City Council gives unanimous vote to Schlitterbahn incentives". CCCT. 
  18. ^ Jessica Savage. "Details of proposed $117 million in incentives unveiled in Schlitterbahn bid". CCCT. 
  19. ^ Andrew Ellison (12 March 2015). "KRISTV.com – Continuous News Coverage – Corpus Christi – 6 Investigates follow up: Schlitterbahn pays vendors, throws the". kristv.com. 
  20. ^ Barszewski, Larry. "Planned South Florida water park making a splash". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  21. ^ Barszewski, Larry (March 31, 2017). "Judge stops plans for 'biggest and baddest' Fort Lauderdale water park". Sun Sentinel/Broward County. Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  22. ^ "Schlitterbahn Waterparks: Leading the Industry with Expansion and Innovation". tapmag.com. Tourist Attractions and Parks. January 26, 2011. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  23. ^ "Official: Schlitterbahn hopeful for future water park in Cedar Park – Community Impact Newspaper". Community Impact Newspaper. 

Coordinates: 29°42′48″N 98°07′30″W / 29.71336°N 98.12505°W / 29.71336; -98.12505