Kalahari Resorts could be getting a third location, and that’s big news for water park fans. Big, as in 134,000 square feet. That’s the size of the indoor water park at the new Kalahari planned for the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Kalahari Resorts, which also runs African-themed water park resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin and Sandusky, Ohio, plans to open the new location in late 2014 or early 2015.
The size of the new indoor water park would fall short of the one in Sandusky, which is currently the largest indoor water park in America (depending somewhat on how you measure and whom you ask). That’s okay, though – the new park would have plenty of other bragging rights. It would be the largest indoor water park serving the East Coast, as well as one of the largest in a prime skiing location.
None of this comes cheap, of course. The new resort would cost $350 million. Local residents are being asked to foot some of the bill, with the promise of more jobs and tourist money coming into the area.
Kalahari Poconos would be completed in three phases. In addition to the indoor water park, the first phase would include the following:
- 450-room hotel
- 2-acre outdoor water park
- 30,000-square-foot arcade/theme park
- 65,000-square-foot convention center
There have been no announcements on what sorts of attractions might be featured in either the indoor or outdoor park. However, it’s a safe bet that it will have many of the same slides and rides included in the other two parks. These include a water coaster, Crocodile Cove activity pool, and the large slides Rippling Rhino and Zig Zag Zebra. Another safe bet is that the park will include something new and unique that isn’t in the other two parks.
A word of caution is always due whenever discussing upcoming water parks. More than a few projects have died gruesome deaths in recent years due to funding problems. One example that seems particularly apropos is the Kalahari that was planned for Fredericksburg, Virginia, which would have been the largest indoor water park in America.
There are a couple of reasons for optimism this time around. One, this project seems further along than others that have bitten the dust. Two, the economy in general is improving, making large-scale construction projects like this more likely to succeed.
That said, there’s still plenty yet to be determined with this new park. We’ll keep you posted on any new developments.