Schlitterbahn No More?
In 2016 a 10-year boy was decapitated on a Kansas City, Kansas water slide in Schlitterbahn that was marketed as the world’s tallest slide. The slide called “Verruckt” was 17 stories tall, 168-feet tall with 264 stairs leading to the top-taller than the Statue of Liberty, if that helps to give you an idea of just how tall this thing was. The name “Verrukt” means “insane” in German, by the way. As a kid one of the best parts of summer is water parks. I can remember the waiting in line for slides when I was a kid and how the anticipation would build as I got closer and closer to the top and my turn. I’m old now but I can still remember how excited I was at the thought of spending the day waiting in line for my turn to slide. I’m sure Caleb Thomas Schwab was no different. I can imagine he looked forward to this trip to the water park for weeks, maybe even months beforehand.
If you google a picture of the ride it’s painfully apparent how un-safe the ride has the potential of being. Unfortunately the potential dangers of this ride were not immediately apparent to the people who could have changed the outcome of that day back in August, 2016.
Caleb’s death resulted in some very steep financial repercussions and the company and others involved very narrowly missing legal ramifications. Because of this the company has had to sell a big chunk of its’ holdings. An Ohio-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. has an agreement with the owners of Schlitterbahn to purchase the company’s New Braunfels park and resort property as well as their Galveston park for $261 million dollars as long as they promise to keep to the values and character and brand promises of the Henry family-Schlitterbahns owners.
Hopefully all that means is some upgrades but only time will tell.