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Kalahari Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, hosts more than 1 million visitors annually, and keeping everyone safe and happy is no easy feat in a 173,000-square-foot indoor waterpark (one of the largest indoor waterparks in the United States). That’s why safety and security are the No. 1 priority.

In addition to certification required by the Ohio Department of Health, all Kalahari Resorts lifeguards must pass skills testing and attend ongoing comprehensive training. Lifeguards also are certified by Jeff Ellis & Associates.

Operators promote safety on the Website, in emails, through in-room awareness and by offering a free learn-to-swim program to guests.

Energy efficiency is another long-standing commitment for the park. Green initiatives include the AquaRecycle System (which enables the resort to reuse 70 percent of its laundry water); a Texlon transparent roof system that allows in natural light and heat; an HVAC energy-management system; and partnering with a local landscaping company on a food waste composting system.

At the same time, Kalahari Resorts is dedicated to philanthropy. The facility hosts numerous annual fund-raising events, including the United Way Duck Derby, a toy duck race to benefit the charity. Kalahari has contributed nearly $500,000 in cash, in-kind donations and fund-raising events to help the Huron Athletic Booster Club build a new synthetic sports field at Huron High School.

Best Practices

Growth has happened quickly. In June 2006, the resort unveiled an expanded 77,000-square-foot outdoor waterpark. Just two months later, a 100,000-square-foot conference and events center was opened.

Most recently, operators added Safari Outdoor Adventure Park, featuring an animal adventure park, zip-line tour, ropes course and climbing walls. The property also includes 884 guest rooms, several dining options and a day spa.


JUDGES’COMMENTS

“Standouts at this facility include energy efficiency and the authentic African design and décor.”

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Two FlowRider stationary wave machines
  • 12,000-square-foot wave pool
  • A variety of rides, including the Swahili Swirl, the Zip Coaster, the Cheetah Race, the Rippling Rhino and Victoria Falls
  • Lazy river
  • Indoor/outdoor spas