July 18, 2004
Schlitterbahn history

Nice article about the Henry family, which owns and operates the Schlitterbahn. I'm really excited about the new park opening in Galveston, though of course I plan to continue making an annual pilgrimage or two to the original in New Braunfels. This bit is very intriguing:

"South Padre is a small park," says Schlitterbahn's Jeff Henry. "It has our latest technology, Transportainment, a deep-flow river. It's the most significant technology ever to hit the industry. It's the Comal River built man-made. We pump the water up, and it runs down a channel that re-creates a natural river."

He hopes Transportainment will eventually eliminate long lines in water parks: Guests will float and enjoy themselves as they come up to each ride.

Schlitterbahn in Galveston is a 26-acre, $30 million park that Jeff Henry has been designing for several years. The park will be on city-owned property that was once part of Scholes International Airport, next to Moody Gardens and the Lone Star Flight Museum.

"Houston being the nation's fourth-largest city, there's more than enough market in that area to fill that park every single day," he says.

"Galveston is going to be an incredible park. I'm in the final stages of schematic design. That park will embody many of the things the New Braunfels and South Padre parks have, but it's going to be different from both parks. We hope people will recognize the Schlitterbahn mark and how different each is, and spend time in all three of them."

Over the years, Jeff Henry gained a reputation as a water-park innovator. The park developed, among other things, a specially coated soft surface that now covers not only many of the rides in Schlitterbahn, protecting guests from injuries such as skin scrapes and impact blows, but other parks all over the world. He helped develop the Boogie Bahn surfing ride and uphill water thrill rides such as Master Blaster (both widely copied) and the Transportainment river system that he hopes will eliminate long ride waits in the family's new parks by 2010.

Anything that eliminates long lines is a winner in my book. I'm very curious to see what "transportainment" turns out to be.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 18, 2004 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

Dumb question: does the park use salt water? When I see Carson City NV threatened by fire I get to worrying about the proper use of aquifers.

Posted by: Linkmeister on July 19, 2004 1:46 AM

The original Schlitterbahn uses Comal River water, while the newer part of the New Braunfels park uses chlorinated water. I'm pretty sure the other parks are (or will be) using chlorinated water.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on July 19, 2004 6:37 AM

My guess on "transportainment": "Water". In other words, instead of standing in line, you'll be in a nice river that will gently carry you along the line. Or something.

Given the heat in Texas, it's not a bad idea. Anything to keep you off your feet, and at least part of you in water is one way to keep heatstroke at bay...

Posted by: Morat on July 19, 2004 12:12 PM

Yo! I have to know some stuff about this waterpark 4 a report! 1)Where did the Schlitterbahn start (year?) 2.)Who created the first park? 3.)How'd it get popular? 4.)What has become of the original Schlitterbahn 5.)What's the average # of people who go there a day? 6.)Are you rich? Thanx! I have to go to Wal mart now. PLEASE READ!!!!!! (^-^)

Posted by: Susu on March 29, 2005 5:04 PM

Q: How many people go to the Schlitterbahn a day?

Posted by: susu on April 4, 2005 11:22 AM

Question: U guys used a simulation program to develope the park. What is the name of the simulation program?

Posted by: Dennis Jansen on August 6, 2005 5:04 AM

can you give me the history of schlitterbahn in new braunfels?...just a quick overview 'bout how and when it began...maybe lead me to a link? gracias...lane skyles

Posted by: lane skyles on September 4, 2005 8:10 AM

have any of ya'll gotten any answers?...

Posted by: jeff on June 20, 2006 12:54 AM