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Schlitterbahn mulling options to replace Verrückt water slide, closed after boy’s death

How Schlitterbahn’s Verruckt was built in Wyandotte County

What has become clearer since the tragic death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab is that from nearly the moment the Verruckt was proposed in Wyandotte County, its path to completion was all but assured with almost no outside officials casting a critica
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What has become clearer since the tragic death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab is that from nearly the moment the Verruckt was proposed in Wyandotte County, its path to completion was all but assured with almost no outside officials casting a critica

A state official said Tuesday that Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kan., must develop new attractions to replace its signature Verrückt water slide.

The slide was closed last year after the death of a 10-year-old Olathe boy on the slide, and company officials said it will be dismantled.

The park was financed in part by Kansas Sales Tax Revenue bonds, and an official with the Kansas Department of Commerce told lawmakers Tuesday that the park must create new attractions to make up for revenue lost by closure of the slide.

STAR bonds allow cities in Kansas a way to help finance large commercial, entertainment and tourism developments. Sales tax revenues from those developments are then used to pay off the bonds.

In speaking with lawmakers Tuesday, STAR bonds chief attorney Robert North with the Department of Commerce used Schlitterbahn as an example of how a project may lose and add attractions over time.

A spokeswoman for Schlitterbahn said Tuesday the company is now considering options to replace the slide, which at 17 stories was billed as the tallest in the world.

“It was the park’s signature attraction, and it is our intention to have something in its place,” said spokeswoman Winter Prosapio.

A decision on what that will be hasn’t been made yet, she said.

Water park officials closed the slide last August after the death of Caleb Schwab, the son of state lawmaker Scott Schwab, and announced in November that it would not reopen the slide.

The Schwab family recently reached a civil settlement with the company in Caleb’s death.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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