DRONE FOOTAGE: Kalahari construction one year in

Kalahari owner Todd Nelson said despite a rainy year, the project is on track for a November 2020 completion.

Kalahari owner Todd Nelson said despite a rainy year, the project is on track for a November 2020 completion.

One year after breaking ground on Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, the project is on schedule for a November 2020 opening date.

"The progress is incredible," Kalahari owner Todd Nelson said. "I’m so proud of our guys."

Plans for the resort---located at Kenney Fort Boulevard and Hwy. 79 in Round Rock---include 1,000 hotel rooms, a 200,000-square-foot convention center and the largest indoor water park in the country.

Since the project started last May, the site has weathered 158 million gallons of rainfall, according to Kalahari staff.

“The biggest challenge has been the weather," Nelson said. "But our general contractor has kept us on schedule. They’ve fought through it all.”

Austin-based Hensel Phelps is the general contractor on the project. An average of 700 construction workers are on-site per day, Nelson said. This number is expected to increase to 1,300 over the summer.

To date, more than 600,000 hours of construction work have been invested into the project, according to Kalahari staff. More than 400,000 cubic yards of dirt have been moved---enough to fill 123 Olympic sized swimming pools. Over 47,000 cubic yards of concrete has been placed---enough to fill 35 Boeing 747 airplanes.

Round Rock's Kalahari is the company's fourth resort, and its first in Texas.

“This is the largest project we have ever done," Nelson said. "The old saying, ‘everything’s bigger in Texas?’ It’s true.”

The resort will include six full service restaurants: Double Cut Charcoal Grill, Mondo Sortino’s Italian Kitchen, 5 Niños Tex-Mex restaurant, B-Lux Grill & Bar, Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet and Marrakesh Market Eatery. A piano lounge, coffee shop, spa and salon and other on-site attractions are also in the works.

Kalahari’s Round Rock location will feature Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park, which includes 80,000 square feet of thrill rides, a ropes course, climbing walls, an indoor zip line, bowling, laser tag and more than 250 arcade games.

“Everything here will be the nicest we have," Nelson said. "We try to get better every time we build a new one.”
By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.


MOST RECENT

The daily coronavirus update did not come out on Oct. 19 and 20. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County daily coronavirus update stalled after inconsistencies are found

The daily coronavirus update did not come out on Oct. 19 and 20.

Round Rock ISD announced Oct. 20 that DeWayne Street will be the district's first chief equity officer. (Courtesy Round Rock ISD)
Round Rock ISD names DeWayne Street chief equity officer

In August, the RRISD board of trustees approved spending $1.2 million to establish a RRISD Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with six full-time positions. Street will lead the department.

As of close of polls Oct. 19, 56,518 votes had been cast at Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto's polling sites during Week 1 of early voting, which ran from Oct. 13-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
More than 56K votes cast in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto during Week 1 of early voting

As of close of polls Oct. 19, 56,518 votes had been cast at Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto polling sites during Week 1 of early voting, which ran from Oct. 13-19.

Graphic visualization of coronavirus
UT experts predict a 96% chance of worsening COVID-19 rates in Travis County in coming weeks

Travis County's health authority says individual actions can still turn the tide.

Early voting at the Ben Hur Shrine Temple
Some Austin-area polling locations have recorded 10,000-plus votes through first week of early voting

Three Williamson County polling locations have each reported more than 10,000 ballots cast in the first week of early voting.

Capital Metro celebrated the opening of a renovated and expanded downtown Austin MetroRail hub Oct. 19. (Courtesy Capital Metro)
Capital Metro opens downtown Austin station and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Photo of a wall of "I voted" stickers
More than 30% of Travis County voters have cast their ballot in first week of early voting

Both in-person voting and by-mail voting in Travis County are up compared to the first week of early voting in 2016.

In the year to date, 42 new townhouse construction projects have popped up in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, according to the Austin Board of Realtors' September housing market report. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Townhouse construction skyrockets 950% in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto

In the year to date, 42 new townhouse construction projects have popped up in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, according to the Austin Board of Realtors' September housing market report.

Happy Panini is now serving grilled and pressed sandwiches at 207 Farley St., Hutto. (Courtesy Happy Panini)
Happy Panini opens in Hutto and 2 other business updates to know

Happy Panini is now serving grilled and pressed sandwiches at 207 Farley St., Hutto.

Nearly one third of Williamson County's registered voters have turned out in the first six days of early voting. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County reports highest early voting turnout percentage in Texas

Nearly one third of Williamson County's registered voters have turned out in the first six days of early voting.

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
44 coronavirus cases, 1 death reported in Williamson County on Oct. 16

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Williamson County.