Kalahari on track for November opening in Round Rock despite coronavirus pandemic, contractors say

Work continues on Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, with construction deemed an essential business in the state of Texas. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Work continues on Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, with construction deemed an essential business in the state of Texas. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Work continues on Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, with construction deemed an essential business in the state of Texas. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is on schedule for a November opening in Round Rock despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to general contractors Hensel Phelps.

The resort is expected to open with 975 hotel rooms, a 200,000-square-foot convention center, the largest indoor water park in the country, an outdoor entertainment space, restaurants and more.

“Construction in Round Rock continues as an essential service and the project remains on schedule for a November 2020 open date,” representatives from Hensel Phelps said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper.

On March 31, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order clarifying that all construction—public and private—is considered an essential business and would not be forced to shut down amid coronavirus-related restrictions.

“Health and safety is our top priority,” the contractors said via email. “[We are] closely monitoring COVID-19 guidance and following public health recommendations on the job site.”


Construction on the resort broke ground at Kenney Fort Boulevard and Hwy. 79 in May 2018. Since then, anywhere from 700-1,300 construction workers have been on-site daily, Kalahari owner Todd Nelson said last spring.

The Round Rock resort—Kalahari's fourth in the country and first in Texas—is expected to be a $550 million investment, according to the company's projections. The chain of resorts is family-owned.
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.


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