Families can take a passport-free vacation to an
exotic destination thanks to the African-themed Kalahari
The venue features a 173,000-square-foot indoor waterpark
(reportedly the largest in the nation) and 77,000-square-foot
outdoor waterpark. In addition, Kalahari offers 884 guest rooms and
suites decorated with authentic, imported African artifacts, plus a
convention center, on-site dining facilities, a full-service spa
and a 27-hole golf course.
Some of the resort’s most recent additions include a
12,000-square-foot wave pool with eight ocean-like settings. And
the transparent roof system helps reduce energy consumption by
providing natural sunlight to heat the indoor aquatics
Among Kalahari’s 13 water slides, guests will encounter the
400-foot Rippling Rhino, the Tanzanian Twister and a 55-foot
decline slide called the Cheetah Race. Adults can enjoy some
grownup libations within the aquatics park at the indoor/outdoor
spa with swim-up bar or the outdoor Zanzi Bar. Built in the shape
of the African continent, the custom-built Zanzi Bar features eight
50-inch, flat- screen televisions and a built-in DJ booth.
The resort employs 250 lifeguards, and depends on incentives and
team-building activities to keep turnover low and recruitment high.
To bring in new guests, Kalahari uses integrated marketing
campaigns that include print, online, radio and TV advertising as
well as public relations, community relations and viral
In 2007, the resort hosted the “Go Big or Go Home”
event, which featured sumo wrestlers and Kalahari founder Todd
Nelson, who unveiled the resort’s latest expansion plans to
public officials and the media. The event was broadcast online to
more than 20,000 e-newsletter subscribers, and the campaign also
included more than 90 print and Web ad placements, 70 broadcast
segments and 88 radio segments.
To combat rising gas prices, Kalahari recently introduced the
“4-40 TGIF” promotion, which offers guests $40 off each
night stay and a $40 gas card when they book four consecutive
weeknights at the resort. Future plans include adding new rides and
continuing to increase mid-week business through convention center
group bookings. — I.H.