Schlitterbahn, Cedar Fair enter $261M water park sale deal

By The Associated PressFeaturesAssociated Press

A Texas-based water park company on Thursday announced an agreement to sell two of its attractions and will also give the buyer the right to acquire its Kansas site where a 10-year-old boy was killed nearly three years ago.

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Schlitterbahn said in a news release it sold a water park and resort in New Braunfels, Texas, and another property in Galveston, Texas, to Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. in a $261 million deal. Sandusky, Ohio-based Cedar Fair also will have the right to buy Schlitterbahn's Kansas water park for $6 million in cash.

"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," Schlitterbahn said in a statement.

The deal comes after Schlitterbahn remained mum on its plans for the Kansas City, Kansas, park where Caleb Schwab was decapitated in August of 2016 on the 17-story Verruckt slide. The raft he was riding on went airborne and hit a metal pole.

Caleb's family received nearly $20 million in settlements and two women who were seriously injured while riding with him settled for an undisclosed amount.

Verruckt — German for "crazy" — never reopened and was torn down last year.

Prosecutors filed criminal charges against Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry, the designer of Verruckt, the park's operations manager and two maintenance workers, alleging that shoddy planning and maintenance led to Caleb's death. But the maintenance workers were acquitted in October, and a judge dismissed charges against the other three in January citing improper evidence.

Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard Zimmerman said in a statement the properties from Schlitterbahn represent new markets for Cedar Fair in the growing central Texas region.