KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several rides at Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas will remain closed after a state safety inspection found regulation violations on 11 attractions.
The Kansas Department of Labor conducted an audit of the Schlitterbahn park made public Tuesday, a day after issuing a notice to the park. The inspection was last week.
The audit said safety signs in some park areas were not adequate, records were not available for review, and some operating and training manuals were not complete.
According to a statement from the Wyandotte County District Attorney, the rides will not open until the district attorney's office and Schlitterbahn agree that they are "in compliance with applicable standards."
Schlitterbahn is scheduled to open to the public Friday, May 25.
A park spokesman sent a statement to 41 Action News accusing KDOL of acting maliciously in its report. The full statement can be read below.
As detailed in the attached letter, the Kansas Department of Labor (“KDOL”) abused its statutory authority to conduct an inspection and further failed to conduct an audit within the parameters of the Kansas Amusement Ride Act. In doing so, it has created a false impression in the community and indeed, nationwide, that Schlitterbahn is operating its Kansas City park in an unsafe manner. This appears to be nothing more than a malicious effort on the part of the State to stir up unfounded fear and cast doubt on this company in the wake of the tragic accident in 2016.
The letter points out the following:
KDOL ignored the scope of its statutory authority to conduct an audit
KDOL ignored that Schlitterbahn had not yet opened to the public
KDOL could not lawfully issue a “notice of violation” under KSA 44-1610
KDOL must provide a reasonable amount of time to comply
Despite our strong disagreement with some of the issues in the report and KDOL’s audit process, we are addressing carefully each of the issues raised and expect that such issues will be rectified before the individual rides are opened to the public. While these clerical and administrative issues do not generally impact guest safety, in the interest of ensuring all Schlitterbahn guests that their safety is Schlitterbahn’s highest priority, the park will not open any ride or attraction unless and until the issues raised in the report have been fully addressed.
This is the full letter Schlitterbahn sent to KDOL in response to the audit: