Water park to boast ‘unique’ attractions

February 13, 2009


— 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.


Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years, 3 months ago

well at least people can have fun while all those poor high school kids suffer thru summer vacation working at a water park for minimum wage.

KU_cynic 9 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like fun.

Enjoy the park while it's in its squeeky clean pre-bankruptcy period!

LogicMan 9 years, 3 months ago

I have been to one of their other parks. It was great. This one should be lots of fun, but it's too bad about the timing of the opening and the economy. Maybe it will do fine if people take "staycations" at nearby places instead of traveling far away.

Ryan Neuhofel 9 years, 3 months ago

"Solomon". Yeah, I can't believe the gall of these Schlitterbahn people either! We should only allow companies to open up shop if they are going to pay a minimum of $50,000/yr, 2 months vacation, personal transport and all the bennies. Our economy just can't withstand more "crappy" jobs.

jcbhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I moved here from central TX and live 15 minutes from the Legends. This park will be a hit. Schlitterbahn also treats it's 'minimum wage' employees very well. Would you rather be flipping burgers or working on your tan all summer while earning cash for college? Tickets in TX were always very reasonable - it's the only vacation my family could afford growing up and it brings great memories. Schlitterbahn is a great addition to the Legends area.

Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years, 3 months ago

my husband and kids are gonna love this and they do not have to drive all the way to worlds of fun so I am sure we will be spending money there. I do hope they have kid friendly areas got lots of grandkids that love the water also.

salad 9 years, 3 months ago

Schlitterbahn is awesome!!! This will be great.

somebodynew 9 years, 3 months ago

While the park will be fun for those who enjoy that type of fun - has anyone driven by there lately?? I had occassion to pass there yesterday, and was surprized at all of the strikers protesting. I didn't stop to read the signs, but the gist I got was that the company is not using local workers/contactors for the construction.

Anyone know more about this??? If true, it certainly is not helping out the local economy.

bangaranggerg 9 years, 3 months ago

You really don't have to think very long to come up with a nickname to mock this place. I hadn't heard about this place though but it sounds awesome from this-

LogicMan 9 years, 3 months ago

"nickname to mock this place"

Mock at your own risk (of attitude toward you by your friends and neighbors). Most Kansans are of Germanic origins. And explains a lot about the regional politics/behaviors.

The name means something like "sliding way(s)". Wasser (water) added would translate better as "water slides".

Richard Heckler 9 years, 3 months ago

Sooner or later that area will become saturated = some business will be shutting down. Isn't there a water park near that area now? What's the point in trying to put that place out of business?

City Museum in St Louis would be the place to go probably for about the same amount of money.

A former 10 story shoe factory in downtown St Louis turned into a carnival museum created from recycled objects such as industrial cranes,neck ties,aquairium parts,big chunks of steel and rebar. Caves have been created throughout with food an brew for the guests of all ages. Teens flock to this recycled 8th wonder of the world. This museum is one fun filled cultural event.

On the horizon a beach area and Ferris Wheel on top of the ten story building.

Curtis Lange 9 years, 3 months ago

I've been looking to check out Schlitterbahn since 06 (?) when they first announced we'd be getting one! I'll be there opening weekend for sure. :)

questionthings 9 years, 3 months ago

I can't wait to go! I have been too the one in New Braunfels, Texas. It is way better then Oceans of Fun.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 3 months ago

Over saturating the Lawrence retail market is unfriendly to new and existing business.

Thanks bow hunter for supporting the Lawrence to St Louis bike path. That is fabulous. Thanks again = many many jobs.

The roller rink that was here had very few skaters when we were there. I do not believe KCMO has a roller skating rink anymore. Kids ought to buy roller blades, street style roller skates and get on with it. This can be done year round. Saw this dressed up dude,briefcase in hand skating to work on the KC Plaza one morning...he was having fun. As kids we would skate around the neighborhood with pals.

One of the great points about City Museum is the use of existing infrastructure so that was easy on the taxpayers. City Museum is a money maker for the owner and the city taxpayers. We know several Lawrence families who make this journey and have met more that have heard of this museum. It is usually played up as an activity for children however a staff person advised that it was not the original intent. Children have become the working parts as it was described and a majority of the museum population. It is a blast.

We will be making return trips just to determine what was missed the first time. We were able to leave our car parked for two days and walked to the Arch,City Museum,bottle shop,eating establishments and in general enjoyed the old style architecture of downtown. Lots of downtown shopping was available not to mention the downtown night life was very alive. Next time we'll be able to catch the bus/public transit for a zoo visit.

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