Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in the Pocono Mountains is now home to America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark. Boasting 220,000 sq. ft. of attraction space, the indoor waterpark now features eight new thrilling slides, a wavepool, an enhanced area for children, an extended lazy river and additional adult swim-up bars. As well as the waterpark expansion, the most recent phase of the resort includes: an additional 520 rooms and suites, bringing the total to nearly 1,000 on-site accommodations, two new full-service signature dining experiences, expanded dry-play and fitness amenities, and more.
Owned and operated by the Nelson family, the company opened its doors on its third authentically African-themed resort, and first on the East Coast, in the Pocono Mountains in July 2015. This resort extension project broke ground in April 2015, which allowed for construction to be completed within an 18-month time frame.
“My family and I had always dreamed of expanding Kalahari to the East Coast, and we’ve had a great experience in the Pocono Mountains,” said Todd Nelson, owner of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. “We could not be prouder to bring the distinction of America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark to this tremendous area.”
Focused on providing a “beyond expectations experience” to guests of all ages, the resort expansion also includes an additional 520 rooms, which brings the resort total to nearly 1,000 guest rooms, including two new styles exclusive to the Poconos location.
The company also placed an emphasis on providing new dining experiences to guests. The resort now features:
Double Cut Charcoal Grill — Kalahari’s signature steakhouse experience featuring: premium cuts of meat, craft cocktails, family style sides and more
Sortino’s Italian Kitchen — A new-age, red-sauced restaurant where old-school Italian cuisine meets the modern age. The menu will include: wood-fired pizza, Italian family dining, a large variety of wines and more
Marrakesh Market — Grab-and-go convenient, bazaar-style shopping, unique gifts, authentic African items and everyday needs
Dry-play expansions include the addition of the elusive free-roaming virtual reality attraction “The Arena,” which can only be experienced at three locations in the country. Kalahari Resorts properties boasts two of the three locations. The attraction opened in the Poconos resort on Feb. 3, 2017.
The resort is African themed, and visitors will see and feel this experience at every turn, including the handcrafted artwork adorning the walls, the Rwandan coffee beans served throughout the resort and the souvenirs sourced from local artisan communities throughout Africa. The Nelson family returned to Africa last fall for a 30-day sojourn that helped to inspire the newest amenities at the resort.
“My family has long been inspired by the spirit and culture of Africa, ever since our first visit to the continent more than 20 years ago,” Nelson said. “As we continue to return each time, we become more enthusiastic about sharing our experience with our guests.”
The expansion of the resort increases Kalahari’s workforce in the Poconos to nearly 1,400 full- or part-time jobs — a 60 percent increase from the location needs when it opened in July 2015. Kalahari’s existing amenities continue to attract overnight and local guests including: Spa Kalahari and Salon featuring the unique HydroOasis day spa, a 40,000-sq.-ft. arcade full of games, laser tag, mini-bowling, blacklight golf and more, 6,000 sq. ft. of retail shopping and a 100,000-sq.-ft. convention center.