TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP — Construction crews have been clearing land for the past week to make way for what should be the largest resort in the Poconos.
Large construction vehicles are busy removing and grinding trees for the past week to make way for the new resort, Kalahari Resort and Convention Center. It’s going up where the Inn at Pocono Manor has its West golf course. The historic East course will remain open to guests and the public.
The people responsible for Kalahari held a groundbreaking ceremony. The president of Kalahari says he’s been waiting for this since 2004 and finally, it’s arrived.
“This is just the most perfect place. I don’t know where I’d rather be than right here,” said Todd Nelson, president of Kalahari Resorts.
Artist renderings of the new resort off Interstate 380 near Mount Pocono show the resort will include a hotel, a water park, and a convention center.
“This is not kiddie land. We do large conventions, professional conventions. We design the resorts properly so swimming suits can’t possible walk through a convention,” said Nelson.
Kalahari Resort and Convention Center will be built on 150 acres and create more than 1,000 jobs.
The CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau says it will attract a market they never had up here before.
“We will now be able to attract large – in excess of 800 people to 2,000 people – conferences that we never have been able to hold here in the Pocono Mountains,” said Carl Wilgus, CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.
Along with a new place to go, the new resort means new jobs.
“Job opportunity-wise I think it’s a great idea and I think it’s a good idea to put something like in this area to actually do around here,” said Danielle Christie of Long Pond.
“If it’s going to bring jobs, that’s important to me,” said Jacqueline Smith of Long Pond.
The president of Kalahari says he hopes his resort will be up and running by May of 2015.
Construction crews say they are also employing local crews to help build the resort.