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Schlitterbahn won't say if Kansas City water park will open in 2019

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Odd response, you would think they would just say they plan to open in 2019 and an announcement will be made later.




Will Schlitterbahn water park open for 2019 season? Company won’t say


By Steve Vockrodt
January 10, 2019 04:09 PM, Updated January 10, 2019 06:05 PM


Schlitterbahn couldn’t say on Thursday whether it would open its Kansas City, Kan., water park in 2019, telling The Star “we don’t have any news” when asked if and when the attraction would open for the upcoming season.


Season passes for 2019 for that park were not available for sale Thursday on Schlitterbahn’s website, while customers could make those purchases for the company’s four Texas locations.


Winter Prosapio, spokeswoman for Schlitterbahn, acknowledged that Kansas City customers could buy season passes by now in years past.


“We offered last year, you may recall, every season pass holder was given the next season free, so there’s not as much pressure there,” Prosapio said.


Schlitterbahn opened in 2009 in Kansas City, Kan., its first operation outside of Texas. It has had a difficult time since the 2016 death of a 10-year-old boy on the Verruckt water slide.


Asked directly if the Kansas City location would open up in 2019, Prosapio said: “We don’t have any news so far about our Kansas City park at this time.


“We focus a great deal of our energy on spring break in Texas, because that’s kind of the start of our season. Right around that time, we will definitely have some news about Kansas City.”


A person answering the phone listed for questions about ticket purchases said season passes were not available in Kansas City and that she didn’t know when they would be.

Is Schlitterbahn considering selling its Kansas City park?


“There’s nothing I can tell you about that situation at this point,” Prosapio said.


EPR Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust in Kansas City that holds a mortgage on the Schlitterbahn property, warned investors last year that the criminal indictments, the resulting bad publicity and the state’s hesitancy to issue more sales tax revenue (STAR) bonds for the project could endanger the chances of Schlitterbahn repaying a $174 million mortgage on property Schlitterbahn bought in KCK.


A spokesman for EPR Properties did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.


On Schlitterbahn’s website, pages for its Texas locations prominently featured links for renewing season passes and other park information. Its page for the Kansas City location featured more limited information, along with a look back to 2018 and a seemingly uncertain pledge about the future.


“Thank you to our fans who splashed away summer with us,” the site reads. “We loved hosting our #BahnFamily in 2018 and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”


From the EPR Properties Q3 2018 Earnings Call on October 30th, 2018.


Q - Craig Mailman

Okay. And then, just last one for me, as I look at your loan maturities next year, can you remind us what the $176 million one is that expires in May and kind of what the expectation is there for repayment and opportunities to roll that forward?

Greg Silvers

Sure. That's the Schlitterbahn note. So, again, we’ll take a look at that. We've historically had a history of rolling that. I can't tell you right now kind of where we will be exactly on that. But what I can tell you of their performance is that they’ve fully funded all the reserves. So, we’re fully funded up. So, we will probably be talking with them in the near future about kind of what they want to do.

Q - Craig Mailman

Okay. I know it's a 7% and 10%. What’s the blended on the full balance?

Greg Silvers

It probably blends to a low 8.


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Lender says Schlitterbahn has cash flow troubles, needed money to cover legal expenses


By Steve Vockrodt
February 28, 2019 04:03 PM, Updated February 28, 2019 04:21 PM


Schlitterbahn is experiencing a cash flow shortage during its off-season and has needed advances to cover its shortfall, as well as costs associated with its ongoing legal issues, according to a public filing.


EPR Properties, a publicly traded Kansas City-based real estate investment trust that issued a mortgage loan to Schlitterbahn to develop its water park and other property on the western edge of Wyandotte County, said it had agreed to advance the company additional amounts under the mortgage.


The principal amount outstanding at the end of 2018 was $179.8 million, according to EPR’s annual report, issued on Thursday. Water parks are seasonal in nature and it’s unclear whether Schlitterbahn has received advances in previous off-seasons. EPR’s annual report from a year ago made no mention of advancing money.


An EPR official was not immediately available to comment, nor were Schlitterbahn spokespeople.


EPR noted in its annual report, as it did a year ago, that criminal proceedings against Schlitterbahn related to the 2016 death of a 10-year-old boy on the Verruckt water slide in Kansas City, Kan., could imperil its ability to repay the loan.


Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry and others associated with the design and operation of the 17-story water slide were indicted nearly a year ago by a Wyandotte County grand jury on charges as serious as second-degree murder. The indictments portrayed the slide’s designers as pursuing the world’s tallest water slide without regard to safety or expertise, charges the company and its attorneys deny. Caleb Schwab was killed on Aug. 7, 2016 when his raft went airborne and he collided with a metal pole.


Those indictments were dismissed by a Wyandotte County judge on Feb. 22 after finding that the Kansas Attorney General had shown a grand jury improper evidence to obtain indictments.


The Kansas Attorney General could continue to pursue criminal charges, but has not disclosed its plans.


EPR Properties said it anticipates that one source of repayment for its mortgage on the Schlitterbahn property is state-issued sales tax revenue (STAR) bonds. But its annual report said there is no assurance that Kansas or the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., would agree to issue future STAR bonds.


“In addition, negative publicity may have a negative impact on attendance at the Schltterbahn waterparks, which may reduce the funds available to (a corporate affiliate of Schlitterbahn) to repay the mortgage loans,” EPR’s annual report said.


In January, Schlitterbahn would not confirm its plans for the Kansas City water park for 2019. Its website then, as it did on Thursday, provides no way to buy 2019 passes, whereas visitors can purchase single-day tickets and passes for its Texas water parks.



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From the EPR Properties Q1 earnings filing.


Mortgage Notes Receivable
We anticipate that our mortgage notes receivable due from SVVI, LLC (Schlitterbahn Group) and secured by three waterparks and adjacent land will be paid in full during the second quarter of 2019 as the Schlitterbahn Group is nearing the completion of a definitive agreement with a third party. Subsequent to March 31, 2019, we extended the maturity date of this note from May 1, 2019 to June 1, 2019. The outstanding balance of these mortgage notes was $186.4 million at March 31, 2019.


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