Thursday January 10th, 2013 - 11:17AM
POCONO MOUNTAINS, PA—Kalahari Resorts, which specializes in indoor water parks, has begun development for a $350 million, 150-acre complex here in Monroe County at Pocono Manor, tentatively scheduled to open by 2015.
The project would include a resort with 450 luxury guestrooms and suites; a 100,0000-sq.-ft. indoor water park; a two-acre outdoor water park; a 65,000-sq.-ft. convention center; a 30,000-sq.-ft. indoor theme park/arcade; and 6,000 sq. ft. of retail space, including two full-service restaurants.
Kalahari recently submitted preliminary land development plans for the proposed Kalahari Resorts & Convention Center-Poconos development, which is expected to create more than 1,500 new jobs once completed and boost the Pocono Mountains $2.1 billion tourism industry.
An economic impact study prepared by Hotel and Leisure Advisors estimates that the project would add about 1,200 construction jobs and another 700 full- and part-time jobs during its first year of operation. Visitors to the resort are expected to contribute more than $18 million annually to the local economy.
“Our goal in the Pocono Mountains is to build on the success of our Midwest locations by providing regional tourists with a world-class destination for families and unmatched convention facilities for business groups,” says Todd Nelson, owner/president of Kalahari Resorts. “As a family-owned business, it is always our goal to exceed the expectations of our guests in terms of service, amenities, food and entertainment.”
According to the company, the Kalahari development team is talking with local officials about a possible Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan to help advance the new development and pay for infrastructure including gas, sewer, water and street improvements.
Currently, Kalahari Resorts operates resorts in Wisconsin Dells, WI, and Sandusky, OH.