Worlds of Fun parent company could be new owner of Schlitterbahn in Kansas City

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The parent company of Worlds of Fun in has agreed to acquire two Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts in Texas along with the right to buy the waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas, where a 10-year-old boy died nearly three years ago.

KCTV reports Cedar Fair Entertainment Company signed the agreement Thursday to acquire Schlitterbahn properties in New Braunfels and Galveston for $261 million.

"Cedar Fair is a dynamic, brand-oriented company.  Under Cedar Fair's leadership, the Schlitterbahn brand will have an opportunity to grow and expand like the early days when the sky was the limit," Schlitterbahn owners said in a statement. "While it's a difficult decision, after several challenging years, we believe that our team, communities, guests, and fans are going to enjoy what lies ahead."

Cedar Fair also purchased the right to acquire additional property in Kansas City for future development.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to bring these two award-winning Texas water parks into the Cedar Fair family," said Cedar Fair's president and CEO Richard Zimmerman. "These properties represent new markets for us with attractive demographics in the growing Central Texas region, and they align with our strategy to identify compelling opportunities to accelerate our growth and profitability."

Cedar Fair already owns 13 amusement parks across the country. In 2018, approximately 25.9 million people visited their properties with an estimated 1.35 billion in annual net revenues. The two Schlitterbahn properties purchased by Cedar Fair had a combined 1.2 million guests visit in 2018. 

The park in Kansas City is where Caleb Schwab was killed 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. Tickets are not on sale on the park's website

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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