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Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi for sale

Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi is the newest of Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts’ five attractions in Texas and Kansas. Troubled from the beginning, with a year of repeatedly delayed openings, the park soon will be for sale to pay off creditors in a bankruptcy ruling. Courtesy photo

Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi dodged the auction block — for now — though it must be put up for sale to pay off its creditors. The company, Upper Padre Partners, filed for bankruptcy last year. The $552 million park was set to be auctioned off on the Nueces County Courthouse steps Feb. 5 after failing to pay off a $16 million loan by Jan. 31. No asking price will be posted.

The company announced it would continue operating the water park, golf course and hotel this year. Both the golf course and hotel are currently open. The water park will open its doors for the 2018 season on April 28. It will also be open for Spring Break March 10-18. No layoffs are expected.

"We at Schlitterbahn continue to have confidence in the park and operating team in Corpus Christi,” read a statement released by Schlitterbahn on Jan. 31. “We have top people in place, and we continue to plan for a successful 2018 season in Corpus Christi.”

Negotiations between Schlitterbahn and International Bank of Commerce to sell the property rather than auction it off were handled by Dawn Reagan, a bankruptcy trustee. IBC holds the $16 million lien on the property.

Those involved hope a sale will bring in more money than an auction would have. A bankruptcy auction for the land surrounding the park received only one bid for half of the amount owed. The company holding the $18 million lien, Axys Capital Credit, paid $9 million for the property.

The 270 acres of land, which was auction off in two parcels, were part of a planned residential and commercial development meant to turn the area into a riverwalk similar to the one in San Antonio, complete with gondolas, restaurants and retail shops. The development was a partnership between water park owners Jeff and Greg Henry, who are brothers, and Padre Island developer Paul Schexnailder.

The sale process for the water park will be conducted under the auspices of Keen Summit Capital Partners LLC, which was hired by the bankruptcy court.

Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts, which is not affected by the bankruptcy, operates four other parks: one each in South Padre Island, Galveston, New Braunfels and Kansas City, Kansas. It is headquartered in New Braunfels, home to the original park, which opened in 1979.

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