• New Venue Spotlight: Kalahari Resort Roars Into the Poconos

     
    POSTED October 29, 2015
     

With the largest indoor waterpark in the United States and the third largest convention center in the state (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively), it’s safe to say that Kalahari Resort has been eagerly anticipated. It was a massive undertaking and one that, according to owner Todd Nelson, was expected to take at least five years. Instead, they finished in three and created 1,000 jobs along the way.

Nelson opened the resort on July 1 to an enthusiastic crowd that came to see a little bit of Africa in the Pocono Mountains. Kalahari Resort is the brainchild of Nelson, a hardworking Midwesterner who took an idea for an indoor waterpark and transformed it into a leading resort brand. The Pocono property is Nelson’s third Kalahari (the other two are in Wisconsin and Ohio). Nelson and his family—all of his children are employed in the family business—felt the Poconos region was a perfect destination because of its proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia.

Located down the road from The Inn at Pocono Manor (now managed by Kalahari), the resort brings an authentic taste of Africa with hand-carved tables and benches, ceremonial headdresses, photographs of spectacular natural wonders and giant bronze sculptures of Africa’s Big Five. It’s truly a place where you can’t look at all of the details in one glance. “You might not be able to get to Africa, but you can come here,” says Nelson.

The resort has 457 rooms and suites, a variety of restaurants, as well as a luxurious spa. Of course, the two biggest attractions put work and play under one roof. There is a 100,000-square-foot waterpark ideal for families and 65,000 square feet of meeting space. Phase two has already broken ground and the resort plans for an additional 100,000 square feet in the waterpark and additional guest rooms (making it a 1,000-room resort). It’s quite simply the biggest thing to hit the Poconos and Pennsylvania in years.

The time is right; the stage is set. Groups are ready to meet face to face again, and the four-star luxury hotel MGM Grand Detroit is ready to welcome you back.

According to MPI’s report “Spring 2021 Meetings Outlook,” three-quarters of meeting professionals predict a face-to-face event this calendar year. And that definitely rings true for Lisa Williams, executive director of sales for the hotel.

 

Despite an overall crushing year for the hospitality industry in Pennsylvania, some seeds of hope have been planted and are finally sprouting in the form of new hotel openings. These new properties on the horizon have ample meeting and event space up for grabs, all within close proximity of each other. As capacities allowances increase, check out the new real estate for meetings and events at the following hotels.

 

Making the most of Minnesota’s ideal (and ever-fleeting) outdoor event season is a time-honored tradition, but outdoor venues hold a whole new appeal in a post-pandemic landscape. 
Plein air events can offer planners plenty of space to safely distance their guests as well as peace of mind to attendees still wary of in-person gatherings—as well as some much-needed screen-free interaction.