Work has begun on the resort’s next big addition — five waterslide attractions for its outdoor waterpark, scheduled to open in May.
A model of the slide complex is located in a glass case displayed in the resort’s main lobby. A poster board near the check-in area reveals a few images of the slides.
The project’s price tag has not been announced. Kalahari plans to release more details after the holidays.
The resort’s website gives this overview of the addition: “From the weightless hang time of the Tornado 45 to the near-vertical drop of the SuperLoop, along with the high speeds of the FlyingSaucer, the high-banking swings of the dual Tornado 24 and the looping tunnels of the TurboTwister, there will be more excitement than ever before.”
Kalahari's outdoor waterpark already features activity pools, hot tubs, dry play, expanded sun deck, sand volleyball courts and shuffleboard courts, as well as private outdoor bungalow available for rent. It is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting.
The slide complex will be Kalahari’s biggest addition at the local resort since December 2011, when the $22 million convention center opened. It’s the largest convention center resort complex in the Midwest.
Here are more details about each slide, as posted on the Kalahari’s website:
Tornado 45: This raft slide explodes into a huge funnel, swinging between weightless hang time and intense Gs! After building anticipation in an exciting serpentine in-run, the raft suddenly drops into a 45-degree tunnel, gaining serious speed before exploding into a five-story funnel. The raft drops low, compresses, then launches up the far wall of the sideways funnel, where it hangs for a moment in zero gravity, nearly vertical on the wall. Just as you think you are about to tip, gravity takes hold. A few more big swings, some more thrills, then the boat drops into the darkened outrun to the landing pool below.
FlyingSaucer: The steeply-angled saucers on this massive slide create an exhilarating, stomach-dropping sensation like no other! Thrill-seekers speed through dark tunnels and rocket into the wide-open expanse of the massive saucers. Moving at lightning speed, the tubes bank high up on the wall, glued by centrifugal force. The steep angle of the saucers creates a ‘drop-and-dive’ sensation as riders race along its edge. The feeling is like a World Cup giant slalom ski race – in perfect control!
Tornado 24: Sudden drops, high-banking swings and zero-gravity moments surprise riders at every turn. What’s even better than one tornado? Two! Experience two high-energy funnels in one ride path. From the smooth back-to-back turns of the serpentine in-run, you'll suddenly drop into the 24 ft. funnel and experience high-banking swings and zero-gravity moments before the raft is pulled into the next set of high-speed flumes.
TurboTwister: You'll feel the world drop out from under you as you blast through the narrow looping and twisting tunnels on one of the most exhilarating water rides around! This high speed, enclosed body slide features back-to-back curves and tight 360° loops that send riders screaming all the way to the pool.
SuperLoop: Experience the drop through a near-vertical chute into a tight 360, glued to the wall and thrilling in the flat-out speed. Standing in the transparent pod high above the water park, you'll feel the adrenaline rush as the floor suddenly drops out and you freefall into the narrow tunnel below. It's all a blur as you instantly accelerate to top speed through the near-vertical chute before transitioning smoothly into the tight 360˚. Powerful G-forces glues you to the wall as you round the loop. Finally, the deceleration stage gently slows you before entering the landing pool.
* * *
Timeline of notable events at the local Kalahari Resort:
May 2005 – Kalahari takes its ultra-popular, all-under-one-roof vacation concept on the road and opens a second property in the Sandusky area (Huron and Perkins townships).
June 2006 – Kalahari marks its one-year anniversary by unveiling an impressive, newly expanded 77,000-square-foot outdoor waterpark featuring a wide array of new amenities including, luxurious African-styled private bungalows.
August 2006 – Kalahari taps "Chicken Soup for the Soul" author Jack Canfield to open a $19 million 100,000-square-foot conference and events center that makes Kalahari the only stand-alone hotel and meetings facility of its kind in the region.
January 2008 – Kalahari opens its expanded indoor waterpark – the largest in the U.S. at 173,000 square feet – featuring a Texlon transparent roof and other unique waterpark features such as the world's largest behemoth bowl, mat racers, a second FlowRider and much more.
January 2008 – Kalahari adds 96 additional three-key condos (288 guest rooms), making it home to the largest hotel in the state of Ohio at 884 rooms.
June 2009 – Kalahari teams up with renowned animal expert and director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, Jack Hanna, to unveil its Safari Adventures animal park featuring giraffes, zebras, ostriches and more.
May 2011 – Kalahari opens the Safari Outdoor Adventure Park, featuring a zip line tour, ropes course and climbing walls, among other features. This expansion adds to the existing 77,000-square-foot outdoor waterpark, playground, shuffleboards, sand volleyball and Safari Adventure Animal Park.
December 2011 – Kalahari opens a $22 million convention center expansion, making it the largest convention center resort complex in the Midwest.