Schlitterbahn sold for $261M, will continue business in New Braunfels, Galveston

Schlitterbahn, celebrating 40 years as a family owned business based in New Braunfels, announced its sale for $261 million to Cedar Fair, a publicly traded company that owns 11 amusement parks in the United States, including its flagship park, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

The purchase includes two Schlitterbahn properties, the 70-acre original waterpark in New Braunfels with a resort featuring 221 rooms, and Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston. Cedar Fair also has the rights to acquire an additional property in Kansas City, Kansas for future development, according to a release by Cedar Fair. The Kansas City property is 40 acres and the option is $6 million.

The Corpus Christi park property was recently rebranded to Waves Resort featuring Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and will remain with Diamond Beach Holdings, according to an online release by Schlitterbahn.

"Cedar Fair is a dynamic, brand-oriented company," Schlitterbahn said in the release. "Under Cedar Fair's leadership, the Schlitterbahn brand will have an opportunity to grow and expand like the early days when the sky was the limit. While it's a difficult decision, after several challenging years, we believe that our team, communities, guests and fans are going to enjoy what lies ahead."

The Sandusky based Cedar Fair had 25.9 million guests with $1.38 billion in annual net revenue in 2018. The two Schlitterbahn parks in New Braunfels and Galveston hosted 1.2 million guests in 2018 and generated revenues of approximately $68 million.

With the purchase, Cedar Fair will have 15 parks, resort accommodations of more than 2,000 rooms at six parks, more than 600 luxury RV sites at four parks, and two marinas.

"Schlitterbahn employees are known throughout the industry for their innovation and dedication to the quality of the guest experience," Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard Zimmerman said. "Because of their work, the water park located in New Braunfels has been recognized as the 'Best Water Park in the World' for 21 straight years."

Cedar Fair has amusement parks in Ohio, California, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Correction: This story has been updated to state that Schlitterbahn is celebrating 40 years as a family owned business.
By Joe Warner

Joe Warner is managing editor of the nine Austin-Central Texas editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


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