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Glitch delays media preview of tallest water slide

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 26, 2014 at 9:41 am •  Published: June 26, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Problems with a conveyor system designed to haul rafts to the top of the world's tallest water slide have forced officials to cancel two scheduled media sneak preview days and could delay the ride's official opening for the third time.

National and local media members were scheduled to take rides Thursday and Friday on the 17-story, 168-foot-tall Verruckt water slide, but Schlitterbahn Waterpark spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said glitches last weekend with the conveyor hadn't been resolved in time for that to happen.

There's a chance the Kansas City, Kansas, attraction will be ready for operation on Sunday — more than a month after it had been slated to open May 23 — as long as the issues have been ironed out, she said.

"When we had problems this weekend, we flew in parts, flew in people, flew in all kinds of stuff," Prosapio said Wednesday. "Crews are still working toward Sunday. That's still our goal."

Verruckt, which means "insane" in German, was certified as the world's tallest water slide in April by Guinness World Records. The slide sends riders on four-person rafts plummeting at 60 to 70 mph.

The ride's official opening date was moved from the May date to June 5 to allow for more testing, then pushed back again to June 29. Prosapio said park officials would not hesitate to delay operation for however long it takes to make sure the slide is safe.

"We'll take embarrassment before putting someone in the slide when it is not ready," she said.

Sunday's opening would coincide with a one-hour special on the Travel Channel titled "Xtreme Waterparks" documenting the designing and building of Verruckt. A promotional video for the show includes footage of two men riding a raft down a half-size test model of the slide and going slightly airborne as it crests the top of the first big hill.

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