Business news from the Fredericksburg region.

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Kalahari headed for the Poconos?


Wisconsin-based Kalahari Resorts wants to build a large water-park resort in the popular Poconos area of Pennsylvania.

The Pocono Record newspaper reported that Kalahari is considering a massive water park, hotel and convention center in the Poconos. The newspaper also reported that local officials from the Poconos visited Kalahari’s Sandusky, Ohio, facility this week to see the operation and discuss tax incentives.

There is no construction timeline for the project, which would be built in phases.

In late 2007, Kalahari announced plans for a similar facility next to the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center in the city’s Celebrate Virginia South development. Local officials made a similar trip to Ohio then as the Poconos’ officials did this week.

The global financial crisis that ensued has left Kalahari unable to secure affordable financing for the Fredericksburg project, the cost of which has been estimated at $260 million.

Whether Kalahari still plans to build the Fredericksburg complex is unclear. Officials from the Silver Cos., which is developing Celebrate Virginia, don’t expect it to happen soon, but haven’t ruled out the possibility of the project getting off the ground once affordable financing becomes available.

Kalahari owner Todd Nelson has said he has no updates to provide on the Fredericksburg project.

Bill Freehling: 540/ 374-5405