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.