Company agrees to acquire Schlitterbahn parks in Texas with option to buy KCK property

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which already operates Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun, has purchased Schlitterbahn properties in Texas for $261 million, and has the right to buy Schlitterbahn in KCK for $6 million cash.

Cedar Fair and Schlitterbahn announced the deal in news releases Thursday morning. According to the announcements, the Henry family, who owned the parks, will retain the South Padre location. They did say they have plans rebrand that park. The Corpus Christi location will remain a Diamond Beach property.

FOX4 reached out to Schlitterbahn for comment, a spokeswoman says it has nothing further to say about the Kansas City property at this time.

There have been questions about the future of the KCK location for a while in the aftermath of Caleb Schwab's 2016 death on Verruckt. Weeks before the start of the 2019 season the four other Schlitterbahn water parks were selling tickets and season passes, but the KCK location was not.

The KCK Schlitterbahn also was not listed on the jobs page of the Schlitterbahn website. One year ago, KCK popped right up along with the four other locations.

Schlitterbahn in KCK also did not have permits to operate through the end of the 2019 season. According to the Kansas Department of Labor, permits for seven of the 11 rides expire June 20. The remaining rides expire July 29. Schlitterbahn is in compliance with Kansas law but only until mid-summer.

Sources told FOX4 in April that KCK police were using Schlitterbahn for training. FOX4 also spotted the Topeka PD motorcycle unit using the parking lot for drills. Sources said KCKPD has also used some of Schlitterbahn's buildings for training, and the condition of the inside of those buildings indicates the water park would not be reopening.

At that time, FOX4 reached out to Schlitterbahn executives several times for comment, but our numerous calls were never returned.

Below is the entire statement Schlitterbahn released Thursday:

For the past 50 years, the Schlitterbahn family has focused all its resources, talent, and energy into building Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts into an iconic Texas brand.

It is now time for the company to enter a new and brighter stage of development and growth.

We have entered into an agreement with Cedar Fair to purchase our interest in both our New Braunfels and Galveston parks and our New Braunfels resort property. Our South Padre waterpark and resort will be owned by one of the Henry families and in time will be re-branded. Corpus Christi will remain a Diamond Beach property.

Cedar Fair is a dynamic, brand-oriented company. Under Cedar Fair’s leadership, the Schlitterbahn brand will have an opportunity to grow and expand like the early days when the sky was the limit. While it’s a difficult decision, after several challenging years, we believe that our team, communities, guests, and fans are going to enjoy what lies ahead. We believe Cedar Fair, with their approach to embracing parks that have a unique footprint, will be a phenomenal owner, and with the talented people that are the Schlitterbahn Family, will take Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts to the next level of world-class family entertainment.

Rest assured, the future of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts is as bright as a July day in Texas. We will always be your hottest, coolest time in Texas!

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