Schlitterbahn to celebrate 40th anniversary

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — With the arrival of summer comes extended hours of fun in the sun.

In Texas, Schlitterbahn has offered millions of families a place to beat the summer heat for the past four decades.

And this year, the vacation destination on South Padre Island plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the chain of waterparks with a huge celebration.

On June 21, the first day of summer, Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort on the Island will host several activities in celebration of its momentous year.

Mike Bigelow, South Padre Island Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort Director of Marketing and Sales, said the park and resort will host surprises throughout the day, free yoga lessons, live music and there will also be sky divers.

“Schlitterbahn’s anniversary is more than a celebration of all we’ve done over the last 40 years,” said Terri Adams, Chief Operating Officer and one of the original members of the Schlitterbahn staff family over the years. “It’s also a celebration of all the good memories that are still ahead.”

The beginning of Schlitterbahn

In 1966, Bob and Billye Henry along with their three children took over a small resort along a stretch of a tree-lined, spring-fed river in the Texas Hill Country.

After noticing guests’ interest in their water slides, they expanded their vision and opened a Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels in 1979.

The made-up name stems from their desire to pay homage to the German cultural heritage of New Braunfels.

A Schlitterbahn Waterpark was opened on the Island in 2001. A Beach Resort Hotel and Indoor Waterpark was added in 2011.

The 25-acre attraction features slides, rivers, kids play areas, dining and the Transportainment, a never-ending river system that replaces standing in lines for rides with floating queues.

“We take great pride in our unwavering commitment to developing new and innovative parks, rides and technologies while keeping the focus on our family-friendly amenities and values,” said Schlitterbahn president and CEO Gary Henry. “Not only have we created industry-firsts, such as the Boogie Bahn surf rides, Master Blaster uphill water slides, tidal wave rivers, Transportainment-based and convertible waterparks, but we’ve also continued to offer our world-class guest amenities including free parking, free use of tubes and the option to bring in picnic meals for free into all of our parks.”