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Archive for Sunday, May 30, 2010

KCK water park looking for a better season

May 30, 2010

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— A Kansas City, Kan., waterpark that got off to a slow start is hoping for a better season this year.

A series of delays stalled completion of the Schlitterbahn Vacation Village near the Kansas Speedway and Village West development in western Wyandotte County.

When the attraction opened in July 2009, unusually cool weather and rain had moved into the area. The park said that the economy also didn’t help.

The water park reopened May 14. And marketing officials are touting this year as the park’s first official season.

Schlitterbahn spokesman Chris Ozimek said people who come to check out the park won’t be disappointed.

Schlitterbahn already has invested $180 million in the development. The private funds include the costs to reroute a road.

And more would have been done had the economy not stalled the timeline for some projects.

“When the economy changed, we were forced to change the construction time frame,” Ozimek said. “It’s just like everyone else.”

Schlitterbahn previously proposed about 1,100 guest accommodations, including 200 cabins and structures built to resemble tree houses. Eventually the park will house up to seven water roller coasters and more tube slides and chutes.

Ozimek said the company is intending to build everything that was part of its original plans, including four miles of interconnected rivers that would carry guests to attractions, lodging and the river walk. Also planned is a retractable roof covering a portion of the park, allowing it to operate year-round.

Next up, company officials promise, is the groundbreaking for its river walk and anchor tenant, Scheels, a megastore sporting goods company.

“We are a survivor,” Ozimek said. “A lot of companies that were under the development stage didn’t make it, but we did.”

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