Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is a water park resort chain with locations in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Sandusky, Ohio; Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania; and Round Rock, Texas.[1][2] Named for the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa, occupying eastern Namibia, western Botswana and northwestern South Africa, the resorts are heavily decorated with African animals and plants, and other African motifs.

Kalahari Resorts
LocationWisconsin Dells, Sandusky, Pocono Mountains, and Round Rock
Coordinates43°34′13″N 89°46′20″W / 43.570178°N 89.772184°W / 43.570178; -89.772184, 41°22′58″N 82°38′38″W / 41.382750°N 82.643977°W / 41.382750; -82.643977,

41°05′55″N 75°23′24″W / 41.098621°N 75.390042°W / 41.098621; -75.390042, and

30°31′11″N 97°38′01″W / 30.5197711°N 97.6336570°W / 30.5197711; -97.6336570
OwnerTodd Nelson
Opened2000 (Wisconsin)
2005 (Sandusky)
2015 (Poconos)
2020 (Round Rock)
Operating seasonYear-round (outdoor theme, water parks, and pools closed in the winter)

Kalahari Resorts operates some of the largest indoor water parks in the United States. The Round Rock location's 223,000-square-foot indoor water park is the second largest in the United States,[3] followed by the Pocono Mountains location's 220,000-square-foot water park, the 173,000-square-foot waterpark in Sandusky and the Wisconsin Dells' 125,000-square-foot park. A Fredericksburg, Virginia location was in development until 2013, when it was scrapped after problems with financing.[4][5] Kalahari later returned to Virginia and broke ground on their newest resort in Spotsylvania County, which is set to open in 2026.

Conventions held at the Kalahari Resorts are typically by state and regional organizations, such as the Wisconsin Network Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias in May 2014,[6] Ohio Holstein Convention in February 2020,[7] and Wisconsin District Ladies Ministries Retreat in April 2021.[8]

Locations edit

Wisconsin Dells edit

The Wisconsin Dells resort opened in May 2000. It has 756 guest rooms, making it one of the larger resorts in the state. The convention center was expanded from 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) to 230,000-square-foot (21,000 m2) in 2011.[9]

The indoor water park at Wisconsin Dells is the largest in Wisconsin, at 125,000 square feet (11,600 m2). It was also America's largest indoor water park until the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky finished its indoor water park expansion in December 2007. The Wisconsin Dells resort's Indoor Waterpark is home to the first indoor uphill water coaster, named the Master Blaster, and first indoor FlowRider surfing simulator. In 2011, the indoor waterpark went through an expansion, which included America's first indoor Super Loop slides.[10] Wisconsin Dells Kalahari also has a 77,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) outdoor water park with several water slides, a lazy river, and a three-story interactive play structure.[9]

In December 2008, the resort added Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park, a 110,000-square-foot (10,000 m2) indoor theme park.[11]

Sandusky edit

The outside of the Kalahari resort in Sandusky, Ohio

Opened in June 2005, the Sandusky, Ohio, resort's waterpark is 173,000 square feet (16,100 m2). In 2008, the resort expanded its 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) water park by 93,000 square feet (8,600 m2), making it the largest indoor hotel water park at that time.[12] The water park contains a FoilTec roof system that lets in natural light.[13]

With 884 guest rooms, the hotel is the largest in the state of Ohio.[14]

In August 2006, the resort opened a 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) convention center that was later expanded to 215,000-square-foot (20,000 m2).

On March 12, 2018, a section of HVAC ductwork fell from the ceiling of the indoor waterpark, injuring five people.[15][16]

In 2019 and 2020, the resort made some minor updates to the property. A new outdoor mini-golf course was constructed, the Zip Coaster roller coaster-water slide hybrid was torn down, and the water basketball area was closed and replaced with underwater virtual reality.[citation needed]

Pocono Mountains edit

The Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania, location opened on July 1, 2015, and completed an expansion in March 2017. It consists of a 220,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) indoor waterpark, an outdoor waterpark, 230,000-square-foot (21,000 m2) convention center, 977 guest rooms, and a 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) arcade and entertainment center.[17]

Round Rock edit

The Round Rock, Texas location opened on November 12, 2020. It consists of a 223,000-square-foot (20,700 m2) indoor waterpark (the second largest in the country), outdoor water park, 3 acres of outdoor pools, a 975-room hotel, five restaurants, 10,000 square feet of retail space and a 200,000 square-foot convention center. It is the first location to be in a metropolitan area instead of a resort town because the manager stated that "Round Rock has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and we took notice of that and as we started to look at our next development, it made sense we go south and what better place than the great state of Texas".[3] On March 21, 2022, an EF2 tornado passed by, leaving no major structural damage at the resort.[18]

Spotsylvania edit

The Spotsylvania, Virginia, location will open in 2026.[19]

References edit

  1. ^ "Coming Soon to Texas: America's Largest Indoor Waterparks". Kalahari Resorts. Retrieved July 1, 2017. Opening 2020
  2. ^ Killough, Kirby (February 5, 2019). "Kalahari Resorts & Conventions' Round Rock location on track to open in November 2020". Community Impact Newspaper.
  3. ^ a b Macias, Rebeccah (November 10, 2020). "Kalahari Resorts in Round Rock has grand opening on Thursday". Statesman. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Telvock, Dan (March 1, 2012). "Fredericksburg Kalahari Project 'No Longer Expected'". Patch. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  5. ^ Reichard, Kevin (September 26, 2013). "New site pitched for Fredericksburg ballpark". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  6. ^ "Alzheimer's conference to address end of life care". La Crosse Tribune. Wisconsin. February 5, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  7. ^ "100th Convention & Annual Meeting Schedule of Events" (PDF). Ohio Holstein Association. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  8. ^ "Ladies Retreat 2021". Wisconsin District United Pentecostal Church International. February 2, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Bishop, Christy. Kalahari Resorts. N.p., December 3, 2011. Web. December 5, 2011.
  10. ^ Selwyn, Adam. Kalahari expands Waterpark, Yahoo Finance. N.p., November 16, 2011. Web. December 5, 2011
  11. ^ Seyler, Christy. Fun Coast. N.p., January 29, 2009. Web. December 5, 2011.
  12. ^ "Ohio resort boasts biggest hotel indoor water park". Orange County Register. May 25, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  13. ^ Butcher, Dan (July 15, 2009). "Top U.S. water parks". CNN. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  14. ^ "Kalahari Resort & Hotel Breakers named top family hotels". WKYC. March 2, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Keenan, Bretton (March 12, 2018). "Injuries at Kalahari after duct falls into pool". WEWS. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  16. ^ "At Least 5 Injured After Air Duct Falls Onto Guests At Ohio Water Park". KDKA-TV. March 12, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  17. ^ Levine, Arthur (April 3, 2017). "Poconos' Kalahari: America's largest indoor water park". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  18. ^ Reding, Shawna M (March 21, 2022). "Gas leak resolved after tornado passes by Kalahari Resorts in Round Rock". KVUE. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  19. ^ "Kalahari Project". Spotsylvania Economic Development. October 20, 2023. Retrieved November 3, 2023.

External links edit