Schlitterbahn is a family-owned and operated company based in New Braunfels, Texas, USA. Schlitterbahn began its first park, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, in 1979. Since then Schlitterbahn has developed three waterparks located in Texas and one in Kansas City, Kansas.
The name Schlitterbahn is a made up German word loosely translated as "sled treck".
Once a river accommodation called "Landa Resort", Schlitterbahn began as a few waterslides meant to entertain resort guests. By the early 1990s, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort stretched over 65 acres (260,000 m2) and featured hundreds of resort rooms, dozens of water slides, children's water playgrounds and miles of inner tube chutes.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort in New Braunfels originally opened in 1979 with four water slides. It is built along the cool spring-fed waters of the Comal River. Bob and Billye Henry purchased 40 acres (16 hectares) on the Comal River called Landa Resort in the 1930s. They slowly added the water recreation park that is now known as Schlitterbahn West. In 1991, the Henrys bought another 25 acre (10 ha) piece of property known as Camp Warnecke and transformed it into Schlitterbahn East. The two parts of the park are separated by several city blocks with free parking available at both locations. A free shuttle runs between the two areas.
In 2001, the 15-acre (61,000 m2) park (6 ha) Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark opened in South Padre Island, Texas. This was the second waterpark in the Schlitterbahn family. It is located between the dunes and wetlands on South Padre Island. It is accessible from Padre Boulevard and via a footbridge from the beach.
A third park, the 26-acre (110,000 m2) Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, was originally scheduled to open in Galveston, Texas in May 2005; but its opening was delayed due to a fire in the hangar where all the construction equipment was located. It officially opened its indoor Wasserfest section on March 12, 2006. The first summer section, Surfenburg, opened on April 22, 2006 and the final part, Blastenhoff, opened in Summer 2007. It is open year-round, with the indoor Wasserfest section open in winter and all three sections open summer. In September 2008, the park suffered some water damage to its buildings after Hurricane Ike, forcing it to close for several months for repairs. It opened again in March 2009. Guests will see no evidence that damage to buildings ever occurred other than some signs informing them where the water level was. For the 2009 summer season, it has added a new Dreyer's Sweet Shop and complimentary wi-fi services.
Schlitterbahn Kansas City, in Kansas City, Kansas, is Schlitterbahn's first park outside the state of Texas. The project has an estimated cost of $750 million. The site is a 370-acre (1.5 km2) tract near Village West in Kansas City, Kansas. It is only a few blocks away from the Kansas Speedway. Groundbreaking was at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 18, 2007. The outdoor waterpark opened during the 2009 summer season. The Vacation Village will include Schlitterbahn Water Resort, "Interactive Marine Park," Riverwalk, and Lodging.