November 16, 2007
Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced Friday that Kalahari Resorts plans to develop a $200 million indoor waterpark resort complex in Fredericksburg.
The project is one of the largest economic development announcements in recent history for Fredericksburg and will further amplify the area’s appeal as a tourism destination. Tourism is one of Virginia’s largest industries, generating $17.7 billion in revenue and providing over 208,000 jobs each year.
Kalahari will purchase 49 acres adjacent to the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center to build an authentically African-themed waterpark resort. The resort will be a 125,000-square-foot waterpark with 100,000 square feet of conference and event space and 700 guest rooms and suites.
In addition, Kalahari Resort-Fredericksburg will feature a luxurious Spa Kalahari, a variety of dining, nightlife and retail offerings. A December 2009 opening is planned, dependant on final approvals.
“This announcement is positive for Fredericksburg and the entire Commonwealth,” said Governor Kaine. “Resorts of this caliber, combined with our history, heritage and cultural destinations, help make Virginia a top tourism destination and bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue for our state and local economies.”
The new resort will be located off of Interstate 95, in the Celebrate Virginia area of the City of Fredericksburg and Stafford County. Celebrate Virginia spans 2,400 acres along the Interstate 95 corridor between Washington D.C. and Richmond.
It includes 2.4 million square feet of mixed use major retail space, a 1,200 acre corporate campus, the Cannon Ridge Golf Club, the site of the future United States National Slavery Museum, numerous additional hotels and the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center.
“The City of Fredericksburg is pleased to hear that a Kalahari Resort is planning to make their east coast debut at Celebrate Virginia,” said Mayor Thomas J. Tomzak. “We view this important project as the cornerstone of efforts to attract even more tourism venues to the city as we become an east coast destination.”
Kalahari Resort-Fredericksburg will be the company’s first business venture outside the Upper Midwest. Kalahari’s authentically African-themed properties in Wisconsin and Ohio draw more than two million visitors to their respective markets annually.