The words “waterpark hotel” might conjure up more images of family vacations than of large events, but Kalahari Resorts & Conventions strives to do both well. The family-owned company opened its third waterpark resort and conference center July 1, 2015, in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania. Like the first two Kalahari properties in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and Sandusky, Ohio, Kalahari Resort – Pocono Mountains opened in an established tourism market that already had popular waterpark hotels. What makes Kalahari different, says Corporate Director of Sales Kevin Shanley, is its dedication to being a state-of-the-art convention center.
The 457-room Poconos property has 65,000 square feet of flexible events space; ballrooms measuring 25,000 and 9,000 square feet, respectively; 15 meeting rooms; multiple hospitality suites; and a dedicated convention center loading dock. The meeting space is located on the opposite end of the massive resort from the 100,000-sq.-ft. indoor waterpark. This can make for long walks, but it ensures events can be executed without bathing suit-clad guests wandering through.
Kalahari Resort – Pocono Mountains has six on-site restaurants, an 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course, an outdoor pool, a 30,000-sq.-ft. family entertainment center, a spa and a salon. Plans are already in the works for a second phase of the resort, which will add 520 additional hotel rooms and suites and 100,000 square feet of indoor waterpark space, expand the outdoor waterpark and increase convention center meeting space to 200,000 square feet. The second phase is scheduled to be completed in spring 2017, with convention center expansion slated for 2018. Shanley says the combination of first-class convention space with family-friendly amenities helps clients consistently increase meeting attendance by more than 20 percent.
The menu at on-site Brandberg Food & Drink will please both foodies and attendees with families in tow, serving everything from burgers to bone marrow to duck prosciutto salad.