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Round Rock City Council to Vote on Plans for New Kalahari Resort

Round Rock City Council to vote on plans for new Kalahari resort

It’s not much to look at now, but the City of Round Rock has big plans for a 350-acre site across Highway 79 from the Dell diamond. They envision a hotel, a water resort and a convention center. They also envision lots and lots of visitors and lots of new sales tax revenue.
If everything goes as planned a 975-room Kalahari-branded hotel will rise along Hwy 79 in Round Rock. Next to it will be a 150,000 square foot city-owned convention center. All that’s needed right now is final council action. Mayor Alan McGraw says, “This is really just the formal agreements that puts into place everything that we said we were going to do.”
And what Round Rock is going to do includes buying the land which it will lease to the developers and building a convention center on the site. Mayor McGraw explains this effort to develop destination tourism in Round Rock has been years in the making. He says, “There were specific steps put in place years ago to start that diversification looking for other destination retailers to replace the sales tax that Dell generated.”
And business leaders say it can’t come soon enough. Round Rock needs new sources of revenue to help it cope with its growth. Ben White is vice president for economic development for the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce. He says, “It’s going to cost more to keep the roads upgraded. It’s going to cost more to have a good police force, good fire department, so we need to keep raising our tax base for those increases in those costs.”
But don’t expect any quick changes. Even if the city council approves all the agreements this week, the new Kalahari resort isn’t expected to open in Round Rock until at least 2020.