Schlitterbahn Article

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Privately/Family Owned Company
Industry Amusement park Waterpark operator
Headquarters New Braunfels, Texas, United States
Area served
Key people
Henry Family

Schlitterbahn is an American family-owned and -operated company based in New Braunfels, Texas. Schlitterbahn began its first park, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, in 1979. [1] Since then, Schlitterbahn now has a total of five outdoor waterparks, two indoor waterparks, three resorts, a golf course, and two full-service restaurants in their parks in Texas and in Kansas City, Kansas.

Schlitterbahn's outdoor waterparks are summer seasonal water parks. They typically operate from late April to mid-September, but the indoor waterparks, resorts, and restaurants operate year-round. [2] Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark, which opened in 2006, has one indoor section that has limited operation during fall and winter. Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Beach Resort has an indoor section that has limited operation year round.

Current parks

New Braunfels, Texas

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. The park expanded three separate times. Surfenberg was the first part of the expansion and had the world's first inland surfing ride, the Boogie Bahn, in 1992, created the first uphill water coaster, the Dragon Blaster in 1994. In 1996 the next section opened - Blastenhoff - and featured the world's first wave river, the Torrent, and the world's most award-winning uphill water coaster, the Master Blaster. In 2011 the park expanded again, adding The Falls, the world's longest tubing river, featuring rapids and tube chutes. [3]

As of 2018, the park had won Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for 20 years straight. In total Schlitterbahn New Braunfels has received 37 Golden Ticket Awards. [4] The park currently employs 2000 seasonal workers. [5]

South Padre Island, Texas

The park in South Padre Island opened in 2001. [6] An indoor section opened in 2012. [7] The park features Transportainment - a system where guests can ride through the majority of the park's attractions while floating in their tubes. In fact, this park has floating queue lines for three of the four uphill water coasters.

Galveston, Texas

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. [8] The park features the most thrill rides of any of the Schlitterbahn parks and is home to the world's tallest water coaster, MASSIV. MASSIV opened in 2016 and features the most current technology including water and power saving features never used before. MASSIV holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the Tallest Water Coaster and is 81 feet, 6 inches tall. [9]

Kansas City, Kansas

The first phase of the park in Kansas City opened in July 2009. [10] The park opens each year in May. [11] The park is home to more than a mile of interconnected river rides.

Corpus Christi, Texas

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. [12] 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. [13] 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. [14] Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi opened on June 20, 2015 with a full service restaurant, the Veranda, two kids areas, the Krystal river system, the Sky Blaster and the Aquaveyer. In 2016 the southern end of the park opened along with a resort. Christened Schlitterbahn Riverpark - Corpus Christi, the park features nearly 2 miles of river and multiple blasters. In 2017 Padre's Plunge, a log flume type ride, opened in the southern end of the park. The park features four types of rivers, two children's area, a massive swim up bar, a stage for concerts, a resort with several event spaces, and a full service restaurant. On May 1, 2018, IBC Bank took over ownership of the park at foreclosure auction. [15] [16] Schlitterbahn continues to operate and market the park for the new owner.

Proposed Projects

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

A long stalled project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Schlitterbahn received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to construct a 64-acre water park at the old Fort Lauderdale Stadium. [17] The initial project would use portions of the old stadium to construct a castle-like entrance that would include lodging, dining, and shopping facilities. Other projects include incorporating the neighboring Lockhart Stadium into the plan by expanding the park around that stadium.

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." [18]

Premier Parks LLC eventually won the bid for this project and plans to build a Wet'n'Wild brand water park on the site. [19]

Cedar Park, Texas

There were plans for a waterpark in Cedar Park, Texas, [20] but plans for the park are currently on hold, although conversations continue. [21]


  • On March 6, 2013, Nicolas “Nico” Benavidez, a 20 year old seasonal employee at Schlitterbahn South Padre was fatally injured when an overhead gate slammed down and pinned him. He was left on life support for organ donation and later died from the injuries on March 11. [22] [23] [24] OSHA investigated and fined Schlitterbahn $96,000 for six safety violations related to the fatal incident. [25] [26]
  • 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. Schwab died before reaching the bottom. Two other unrelated riders in the same raft sustained injuries. The ride was decommissioned and is being demolished. The park settled with all parties in 2016. In March 2018, a Wyandotte County grand jury filed indictments against the park and three park employees, including the park's co-owner, Verrückt's designer and a former park executive. The indictment accused the park and its employees of negligence, as well as concealing design flaws and other issues with the ride. [27] [28] [29] [30] [31]


  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. ^ White, Tyler (April 20, 2015). "New luxury cabanas, food coming to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Galveston". San Antonio Express-News.
  3. ^ "History Highlights". Schlitterbahn News Room. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  4. ^ "All-time Winners". The Golden Ticket Awards | Presented by Amusement Today. January 8, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "The New Braunfels park has been recognized as the World's Best... Photo-5979449.81353 – Houston Chronicle". Houston Chronicle.
  6. ^ Boyd, John (March 5, 2014). "35 fun facts about Schlitterbahn on its 35th anniversary". Houston Chronicle.
  7. ^ "In winter, the Texas coast is a bargain". The Dallas Morning News.
  8. ^ Boyd, John (May 18, 2015). "16 fun facts about Schlitterbahn Galveston". Houston Chronicle.
  9. ^ "Tallest water coaster". Guinness World Records. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  10. ^ "Schlitterbahn water park opens". Kansas City Business Journal. July 15, 2009.
  11. ^ Osterheldt, Jeneé (May 20, 2015). "A deluge of options as KC-area water parks open this weekend". The Kansas City Star.
  12. ^ Savage, Jessica. "Corpus Christi City Council gives unanimous vote to Schlitterbahn incentives". CCCT.
  13. ^ Savage, Jessica. "Details of proposed $117 million in incentives unveiled in Schlitterbahn bid". CCCT.
  14. ^ Ellison, Andrew (March 12, 2015). " – Continuous News Coverage – Corpus Christi – 6 Investigates follow up: Schlitterbahn pays vendors, throws the".
  15. ^ Danner, Patrick (May 1, 2018). "IBC Bank takes over Schlitterbahn park at foreclosure auction". San Antonio Express-News.
  16. ^ Hollandsworth, Skip (July 20, 2018). "Schlitterbahn's Tragic Slide". Texas Monthly. Archived from the original on July 20, 2018.
  17. ^ Barszewski, Larry. "Planned South Florida water park making a splash". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  18. ^ Barszewski, Larry (March 31, 2017). "Judge stops plans for 'biggest and baddest' Fort Lauderdale water park". Sun Sentinel/Broward County. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  19. ^ Wallman, Brittany (September 3, 2017). "Fort Lauderdale will get a water park after all". Sun Sentinel.
  20. ^ Seninsky, Frank (January 26, 2011). "Schlitterbahn Waterparks: Leading the Industry with Expansion and Innovation". Tourist Attractions and Parks. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  21. ^ "Official: Schlitterbahn hopeful for future water park in Cedar Park – Community Impact Newspaper". Community Impact Newspaper.
  22. ^ Quiroga, Ray (March 9, 2013). "WEB EXCLUSIVE: Waterpark employee remains critical". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  23. ^ "Hospital: Lifeguard dies after accident at Schlitterbahn". KGBT. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  24. ^ Quiroga, Ray (March 11, 2013). "UPDATE: Schlitterbahn employee injured in accident dies". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  25. ^ Heller, Sasha (August 30, 2013). "Schlitterbahn cited $96k for fatality". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. Retrieved April 8, 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
  26. ^ "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". Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  27. ^ Porter, Toriano; Bauer, Laura (November 22, 2016). "Schlitterbahn will close Verrückt water slide where 10-year-old boy was killed". The Kansas City Star.
  28. ^ Bauer, Laura (August 10, 2016). "Another family says raft on Schlitterbahn's Verrückt went airborne on July ride". The Kansas City Star.
  29. ^ Gutam, Matt; Sivertsen, Lisa (February 13, 2017). "Family of boy killed on water slide: 'We're still hurting'". ABC News. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  30. ^ Koch, Mackenzie (March 23, 2018). "Court documents detail alleged negligence in design of Schlitterbahn water slide that killed 10-year-old". WDAF. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  31. ^ Brocchetto, Marilia; Gray, Melissa. "Kansas water park executives charged with murder in boy's death". CNN.

External links

SCHLITTERBAHN Latitude and Longitude:

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