Kalahari Resorts and Conventions broke ground on its $32 million Pocono Mountains convention center expansion on Tuesday.
The project will bring the Pennsylvania resort’s total meeting and event space to 205,000 sq. ft., introducing 18 meeting rooms and two new ballrooms. It’s a move that nearly doubles the resort’s amount of meeting space and is expected to be completed by November 2019.
“It’s been challenging and rewarding to help grow the Poconos as a premier destination for group business on the East Coast,” said Travis Nelson, co-owner of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, in a press release. “The completion of this expansion will allow the company to meet the current and future projected demands for group rooms in the area.”
Nelson told Leigh Valley Business that meetings held at the convention center account for approximately 40–45 percent of overall business.
Seamless construction will connect Pocono’s ballrooms to the pre-existing space. The resort’s sunlit pre-function space and 977 guest rooms are infused with the heart of Africa. Also available is catering and on-site dining with a varied platter of cuisines, including Ivory Coast-inspired sips and heaping Italian plates.
Kalahari‘s family-friendly environment suits attendees who may be traveling with one (or two or three) extra companions. The indoor water park is complimentary for guests staying at the property. The spa at Pocono boasts hydrotherapy and halotherapy, a detoxifying treatment using ionized Himalayan salt.
The news regarding Pocono comes in addition to the company’s national expansion. In May, the company also broke ground on its new property in Round Rock, Texas, expected to open in 2020 and located 18 miles north of Austin. The $550 million initiative will also offer 200,000 sq. ft. of indoor event space. New additions also include 50,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space that features a barn and covered terraces.
“Kalahari is thrilled to bring our authentic African resort experience to the South,” said owner Todd Nelson, in a press release. “As the Round Rock property begins construction, we look forward to contributing to the local economy and sharing our beyond-expectations approach to hospitality with area vacationgoers, conference attendees and local guests throughout the region.”
In October, Kalahari began expansion on its Wisconsin Dells location’s convention center to bring the meeting space on par with Pocono’s.