by: Lauren Kravets / KXAN
ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A large indoor/outdoor water park and resort complex is planned for Round Rock, set to open by 2020.
The Round Rock location will be Kalahari Resorts and Conventions‘ largest of four locations, and the first in the Southwest.
“We checked out Houston and Dallas and Frisco and San Antonio, and really the site that we chose right across from Dell Diamond, the attitude of the city,” explains Todd Nelson, owner of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, as the reason why they selected Round Rock. “This is a very progressive city, these people really have it together.”
In addition to two water parks, the property will feature nearly 1,000 rooms at the resort, as well as restaurants and a spa. The company says the resort will be “authentically African-themed.”
“This is going to be great not only for Round Rock but for the entire region,” says Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw.
The resort will cover about 350 acres on U.S. 79, an area that already gets busy, especially when there’s a Round Rock Express game.
“It gets pretty backed up, we try to avoid going out during a game time,” explains Karissa Anderson.
Anderson lives about a half-mile from the stadium and is concerned a new resort could create a bigger jam.
Mayor McGraw admits there will be more traffic, but he says cars going to the parks won’t follow normal traffic patterns.
“When you come and go you’re not typically coming and leaving at rush hour, you’re coming in between, and once you get there, you typically stay for two or three days,” he explains.
The latest TxDOT traffic numbers show the stretch of Highway 79 near the Dell Diamond sees nearly 30,000 vehicles every day, a slight increase from five years ago.
The city of Round Rock is still negotiating incentives with Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. Next week the city council will start the process on an official deal.
The project is expected to cost at least $250 million, create 1,200-1,500 jobs, and attract more than a million people a year.