RICHMOND, Va. Kalahari Resorts plans to open a $200 million African-themed resort and indoor water park in Fredericksburg next year, creating more than 1,900 jobs, the company and city officials said.
The resort will be built next to the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center at Celebrate Virginia, a 2,400-acre residential and commercial development along Interstate 95, about 55 miles south of the nation's capital.
Along with the about 700 guest rooms, the resort will include 100,000 square feet of conference and event space, the Wisconsin company said in a news release.
The 125,000 square-foot water park will feature slides and roller coasters, as well as the FlowRider surfing attraction. It also will also have entertainment areas, including indoor miniature golf, bowling, go-carts and a game room.
Kalahari operates two similar resorts in the Midwest that each draw more than 2 million visitors annually: a 125,000-square-foot park in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., that opened in 2000 and an 80,000-square-foot park in Sandusky, Ohio, which opened in 2005. The company said it plans to expand its Ohio property, nearly doubling the size of the complex.
The planned resort creates some competition for Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg. The 405-room resort features a 79,000 square-foot indoor entertainment area and water park, according to the company's Web site. There also are two major water parks in central and eastern Virginia: Water Country USA near Williamsburg and Kings Dominion in Doswell.
Thirty-eight acres of Celebrate Virginia is also set aside for the U.S. National Slavery Museum, which has struggled to raise funds for a scheduled 2008 opening.