Kansas City’s newest water park just opened for its first full day of business Thursday (July 16). It was not an auspicious start.
In quite the breathless puff piece, The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that the Schlitterbahn Vacation Village finally opened for a half-day of business. Mark Wiebe and Dawn Bormann might as well be on the Schlitterbahn payroll with the positive spin they tried to put on this mid-week fiasco.
“About 3:30 p.m. today, at least 10 anxious guests had already turned out to take a ride on the slides,” the two report in their public relations blurb (1). (Woah, stop the press, 10 guests showed up. That is how many people show up at a BAD party!)
“Water park officials unveiled a twist when it announced the opening through its blog today,” they continued, spouting the company line. “Anyone who heads to the park by 6 p.m. today for what company officials call a ‘dress rehearsal’ will pay $19.99 to enter and receive a free voucher that can be used any day this season at the park at 9400 State Ave. in western Wyandotte County.”
What is it, exactly, that has them so excited? Were they thrilled to be 20 percent of the people in that line? Were they amazed at the mounds of dirt and construction equipment laying all about?
The park is a sham. You might as well just eat money and eliminate it later in your toilet. Pay 20 bucks to ride two waterslides? That is ridiculous.
Mike Hendricks came out with a much more balanced approach in his Thursday, July 16, commentary in the Star (2). Of the Black Knight waterslide, he said, “Black Knight, you rock,” and he claimed to be a “fan of the Torrent River.” But, all in all, he said Oceans of Fun has nothing to worry about from this outmatched competitor.
How much money are people willing to pay to patronize this silly excuse for a water park? Hendricks and the other reporters do not have to pay out of their own pockets. The rest of us do. Are we really willing to accept this? Are people actually going to hand over their hard-earned Jacksons for this? If so, I have attached a slippy slide to the roof of my shed. I’ll only charge you $10!
Then, when and if they finally complete their lame place, they expect people ages 12 to 54 to pay $33. The cost for children ages 3-11 and seniors 55 and older will be $25 (3). Are you for real? Is this serious? For my wife and I to go, we would have to pay $66 just to get in? When both my boys are three, that cost will skyrocket to $116 for a day at a water park?
That is absolute insanity — it is a rip off and a scam. Heck, you all stop by the water park in my backyard, pay your $10 to go down the slide and my boys will be at the bottom, ready to dump pitchers of water on your head for free. Close your eyes and you are at Schlitterbomb. I guarantee you will have more fun in my backyard.
I remember going to Oceans of Fun once or twice a summer when I was growing up. I really loved that place — the great slides and the fantastic wave pool. Oceans of Fun is still the premier water park in Kansas City and it only costs $29 each for my wife and I, and $16 for the boys (when they turn three). The cost for all four of us next summer for a day of fun is only $90 (4). That is still a lot, but it keeps it under three figures!
Exactly how many water parks can Kansas City support, anyway? Based on my limited knowledge, we already have two major indoor water parks now (at the Great Wolf Lodge and CoCo Key Water Resort), plus Oceans of Fun and now Schlitterbum. With all the community pools sprouting throughout the metropolitan area, how is it possible that Schlitterbust expects to compete? Were are all these wrinkly people who spend every waking moment in water?
As a child, I was content to make it across the gravel parking lot on my barefeet once a week just for a chance to jump into a plain old pool with two diving boards. Nowadays, everything is bigger, better, more wet and more wild. Whatever happened to a simple day at the pool? Now, a trip to the pool is a trip to a sensory-overloading wet extravaganza.
My wife and I do love our membership out here at Summit Waves in Lee’s Summit, Mo (5). The “family aquatic center” opened last summer and it is a fun place. We used to just have “pools,” but that’s okay I guess.
We purchased passes for the entire summer season for only $150. We can come and go as we please. While it is somewhat of a watery extravaganza, it is not too overwhelming to the senses. It has a wonderful play area for the little ones and we love the lazy river. Those are actually the only two places I have been. I have yet to ride one of the two waterslides or take a dip in the adult pool. Oh, and by the way, you can plunge down those two slides all day for as little as $7! Take that Schlitterflop.
When I first heard that Schlitterbahn was building a park in the metro area, I was thrilled, believing a little competition cannot hurt and that the park would help the Kansas City, Kan., area. Now, I just think they need to pack up their park and leave. They should be able to fit it in a duffel bag.
Share your opinions on this “water park” by posting your comments below! Thanks for reading and have a great day getting wet somewhere!