Worlds of Fun owners buy two Texas Schlitterbahns, could by KC one

World’s tallest water slide "The Verrückt" at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas, Photo Date: Undated / Source: Schlitterbahn Water Park via MGN
By  | 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WIBW) — The owners of Worlds of Fun plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy two Schlitterbahn parks in Texas – and they have the right to pick up the Kansas City, Kansas, one for just a few million dollars more, the company announced Thursday morning.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company says they have the right to buy the Kansas park, which was once home to the Verruckt water slide on which 10-year-old Caleb Schwab died, for $6 million in cash as part of the deal to purchase the other two parks.

The two Texas facilities, Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort New Braunfels and Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston, meanwhile are expected to cost $261 million, depending on some working capital adjustments.

The full deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be wrapped up in the next few months. When it’s done, Cedar Fair will own 15 parks nationwide.

Schlitterbahn’s current owners have yet to open the Kansas park this season.

Schwab died in 2016 when the raft he was riding on the 17-story Verruckt slide went airborne and hit a metal pole. Verruckt — German for "crazy" — never reopened and was torn down last year. Season tickets have been on sale for months for Schlitterbahn's four Texas locations, but not the Kansas park.

His family received nearly $20 million in settlements, and two women who were seriously injured while riding with him settled for an undisclosed amount.

Prosecutors also filed criminal charges against Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry, the designer of Verruckt, the park's operations manager and two maintenance workers, alleging that shoddy planning and maintenance led to Caleb's death. But the maintenance workers were acquitted in October, and a judge dismissed charges against the other three in January citing improper evidence.

Charges of drug possession and hiring someone for sex also are pending against Henry in a neighboring Kansas county.

Taylor, the Wyandotte County official, said the big issue is having an abandoned water park in a bustling tourist area that includes the Kansas Speedway race track, the Sporting Kansas City soccer stadium and a busy shopping area.

"From the Unified Government's perspective we would love to see the park open in the future and be a viable tourist attraction."

The Associated Press contributed to this article