A project four years in the making is finally roaring into the Austin area. Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, an African-themed, $550 million development, is scheduled to open November 12 in Round Rock.
The resort is designed to be an all-in-one destination, with 200,000 square feet of convention meeting space, a massive hotel, restaurants, a spa, entertainment center, an adventure park, retail shops, three acres of outdoor pools, and the country's largest indoor waterpark. Combined, the newest Kalahari property spans a massive 1.5 million square feet, notes a release.
Restaurants, rides, and other amenities
Like its other resorts in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, the Texas resort is designed as a destination to suit both families and businesses. The hotel's 975 guest rooms include one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites as well as a presidential suite options. It also offers five onsite restaurant options: Double Cut, a steakhouse and bourbon bar; Cinco Niños, a modern Mexican kitchen and tequileria; Sortino’s Italian Kitchen; B-Lux Grill and Bar, serving gourmet burgers and shakes; and Great Karoo Marketplace, a buffet.
Tom Foolerys Adventure Park — yet another part of this multimillion-dollar project — features thrill rides, climbing walls, indoor zipline, bowling, laser tag, escape rooms, and mini golf. A "cutting-edge" arcade dishes out traditional arcade games, along with video games, blacklight mini golf, virtual reality, XD Dark Ride 5-D, and mini bowling, in case regular bowling just isn't enough.
And then, of course, there are the water features. The indoor waterpark, billed as the country's largest, clocks in at 223,000 square feet, with 20 pools/whirlpools, 30 waterslides, a surf simulator, an adult grotto with swim-up bar, and waterfalls. The park also boasts a 37-foot LED display screen with surround sound that can be rented out for private movie screenings.
Kalahari Round Rock also has three acres of outdoor pools in case swimming inside isn't your thing.
The property also houses 10,000 square feet of retail spaces, including the "Amatuli marketplace featuring authentic African items." A release notes that once this space opens in spring 2021, it will not only be a place to indulge in retail therapy, but it will also offer workshop tours, activities, and information sessions.
You can't have conventions in your name and not offer special amenities for business travelers. Along with the aforementioned 200K square feet of corporate meeting space, Kalahari Round Rock is outfitted with two ballrooms; 16 meeting rooms and hospitality spaces; and outdoor meeting areas and outdoor event space, including an event barn, covered terraces, lawn, and open-air amphitheater.
As it gears up for its November 12 opening, the resort says it's also looking to hire about 700 employees, aka associates, for a variety of jobs, including lifeguards, managerial staff, culinary staff, and information technology work. For more information, visit the Kalahari website.
"We can’t wait to open our doors and welcome the Texas community to the Kalahari experience this fall,” said Kalahari owner Todd Nelson. “We have 1.5 million square feet of space to play and room to roam. It’s been a challenging year, and what better way to get away from the worry and enjoy time having fun together as a family and community.”
In response to that challenging year, Kalahari has implemented a series of safety measures across its resorts, which a rep says will be in use at the new Round Rock property, as well as adhering to all local and state guidelines.
The company has also laid out a series of cleaning and sanitization plans, and also requires employees to take their temperatures before a shift and wear masks while on the property. In a bid to minimize the use of cash, the company is offering guests the ability to add funds directly to a room key to pay for things while staying at the resort.
In addition, guests are asked to maintain at least six feet of social distance while on the premises, and use hand sanitization stations offered as well as engage in proper hygiene methods. Read the full list of safety measures here.