Kalahari Kondos part of new attraction

Record-setting waterpark and adaptable rental units part of December unveiling HURON TWP. Kalahari Waterpark Resort wi
Janet
May 24, 2010

Record-setting waterpark and adaptable rental units part of December unveiling

HURON TWP.

Kalahari Waterpark Resort will unveil America's largest indoor waterpark next month.

Along for the ride will be 96 additional condominium units.

The units, which can be divided into rentable guest rooms, will make the resort Ohio's largest hotel with a total of 884 guest rooms.

Each Kalahari Kondominium, as resort officials have named the units, can be divided into three separate rooms with bathrooms or rented as one whole unit that can sleep up to 12 people.

The resort has 96 existing condo units in addition to its hotel rooms.

What makes a condo different from the traditional hotel room is its ability to be split into different spaces, or combined for one large rental space.

The main unit comes equipped with a full kitchen, dining room set, living room group with a queen-sized sofa sleeper, fireplace and a flat-screen television.

The main unit's bedroom has a king bed, and the two side units each have two queen beds. The suites also include a whirlpool tub, 27-inch television in each bedroom and a furnished patio or balcony.

Officials say the African-themed condos are popular with customers.

"The units are outstanding," said Kalahari's chief financial officer, Mary Bonte Spath. "We're fired up about this. We can't wait until the waterpark opens."

Officials also want to make clear that the units are not timeshares. Instead, the condos are "real estate opportunities."

Pricing for the 1,600-square-foot condos starts at $509,000. The resort offers condo owners the option to participate in a voluntary rental program.

By entering into a rental management agreement with Kalahari Management Co., the revenue from the condo is split 55 percent to the owner and 45 percent to the management company.

Bonte Spath said before the convention center opened last year, condo owners saw about $70,000 in gross revenue per unit before the split.

"That has gone up this year," she said. "We've exceeded that as of September this year."

Officials expect the additional guest rooms to draw thousands more visitors per year and strengthen the Sandusky area's transition into a year-round travel destination.

Kalahari decided to expand its hotel after it introduced the NIA Center last year and announced its plan to expand the indoor waterpark.

"We think we need the additional inventory for the business we expect," said Bonte Spath. "It appeals to the transient population."

The resort's first set of condos were sold in 45 days, and about two-thirds of the new condos have already been sold.

Construction is underway on the additional condos, which are slated to be available to rent in time for Christmas. The closing date for the units will be in early January.

"There are lots of opportunity," she said. "We're very excited about them. Sales are doing well.

For more information about the condos, call 608-254-5320 or e-mail kondoinfo@kalaharikondos.com.