Archive for Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chamber hears latest Schlitterbahn progress

May 28, 2009

Schlitterbahn is known for colossal waterparks, and Kansas City’s Schlitterbahn is set to be just as impressive, says Chris Ozimek, Kansas City Schlitterbahn director of sales and marketing.

Ozimek came to the Basehor Chamber of Commerce meeting May 21 to give members some information on the waterpark's progress and the different attractions they could expect to see when it opens this summer.

The park is still on track for a June opening, Ozimek said, but the exact date is not known. Only the waterpark will be ready for use this summer. Eventually, Schlitterbahn will be an entire vacation resort, but Ozimek says it probably will not be completely finished until sometime in 2011.

Schlitterbahn, which means “slippery road” in German, is the name of three other waterparks in Texas, all owned by the Henry family.

Ozimek said Schlitterbahn parks had been voted the best in the world for 11 years in a row. Kansas City was the chosen spot for the fourth park because of its prime, land-locked position in the country.

“A study we conducted shows that 55 million people live within a one-day drive of Kansas City,” Ozimek said. “Kansas City has a land, land, land advantage.”

In June, Kansas City park visitors will be able to choose from 16 different attractions with 24 water slides. Park goers can spend the day zipping around on a roller coaster-like water ride, floating continuously in a lazy river or crashing through the waves of an 1,800-feet-long tidal river.

Ozimek said Schlitterbahn designed the park in a way that minimizes lines and keeps the entertainment high all day.

"You can get in your tube and float on over to the next ride or slide," Ozimek said. "You never really have to get out of the water. You're not going to have to stand in line for hours or walk all over the park to find the ride you want. Just relax, stay in your tube, and float over there."

Other unique features of Schlitterbahn include its policies on food, parking and supplies. Schlitterbahn guests can park free, use life jackets and tubes free and can bring their own food into the park.

“You don’t have to pay for parking, and you can bring in a picnic lunch for you and your family or friends,” Ozimek said. “That’s absolutely unheard of in the world of waterparks, and it makes a big savings for people.”

When it opens in June, Ozimek said the park would sell one-day passes for $32.99 per person. The park may sell season tickets eventually, Ozimek said, but it will only sell day passes at first.

At full completion, Schlitterbahn will contain a river walk reminiscent of San Antonio. It will also have 1,000 units of lodging, including tree-house cabins, and several shops and restaurants. Guests who stay in the suspended tree houses will have access to the waterpark directly from their cabins.

The park will eventually have indoor capabilities, as well. It will have a roof like that of the Galveston, Texas, Schlitterbahn, which will allow people to use the water rides all year. Ozimek said the park would even have a Christmas party the first year the roof was completed.

The Kansas City location has 350 seasonal job openings this year, and Ozimek said he had received more than 1,500 applications since the park began taking them in April.

For more information or to fill out an application, go to the Schlitterbahn Web site at schlitterbahn.com/kc.

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