Kansas City, Kan. A 360-acre plot of land off Parallel Parkway in Kansas City, Kan., could be characterized as a whole lotta dirt, with a few pieces of construction thrown in. But in a few months, it will be home to phase 1 of one of the largest tubing parks in the world.
“I don’t think people realize what they’re in for,” said Chris Ozimek, marketing manager of Schlitterbahn Waterpark, which is set to open this June.
Ozimek said the site might not look like much now because construction must be done, literally, from the ground up to make way for the rivers, lakes and waterways that will be featured throughout the park. He said site work, which has included mass grading of the grounds and installation of a storm sewer and water line, is almost complete. Once that is finished, all that will be needed for the phase one opening is the construction and assembly of more than a dozen rides and attractions.
Some of these will include the Master Blaster uphill water coaster and the Torrent Tidal-Wave River, which Ozimek said is the largest tidal wave river in the world, measuring 1,620 feet long and about 20 feet wide. Two tubing rivers, two water slides and two tube chutes will also be ready for the opening, as well as a hot tub with swim-up bar and the Kinderhaven children’s water activity area.
That’s phase one.
“(People are) not gonna believe that there’s more to come because the park is gonna be such a unique attraction itself,” Ozimek said.
What is to come is the Schlitterbahn Vacation Village, which will include the waterpark as well as shops, restaurants and upscale hotels.
Though three Schlitterbahns — in Texas — have come before, what will set the Kansas City, Kan., location apart is the Transportainment River System, called the Guada-Comal River, which will be unique to this area. The river walk will be the main mode of transportation in the village, with ferries waiting to transport visitors wherever they want to go.
“It’s almost like a lazy river, but it connects everything,” Ozimek said. “It’s not just an attraction on its own, but it takes you to each attraction, so you never have to leave the water.”
Ground was broken on the $750 million project in September 2007. Although Kansas City weather might not be make it the ideal place for a waterpark, Schlitterbahn has a contingency plan: a 130,000-square-foot indoor section of rides with a convertible, retractable roof. People will have the opportunity to visit the Schlitterbahn year-round, Ozimek said.
Businesses set to take residence in the village will include SkyVenture, which provides an indoor skydiving experience, and a Scheels sports store, which will feature a Ferris wheel and 16,000-gallon aquarium.
“It’s a destination where we’re gonna have things that you can’t just do anywhere,” he said.