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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Kalahari rumors not true!

Rumors have circulated of late that Kalahari Resorts was scrapping its plans for a Fredericksburg water park resort and hotel due to its difficulty getting financing amid today’s credit crunch. I spoke with Kalahari President Todd Nelson today, and he said the rumors are completely untrue.

"We’ve never been more committed to a project," Nelson told me this morning. "It’s our no. 1 thing."

The estimated price tag for the sprawling complex on 49 acres of Fredericksburg’s Celebrate Virginia is about $250 million. Plans call for a 700-room hotel, a 15,000-square-foot spa, a 100,000-square-foot “family-fun center” and the featured 200,000-square-foot indoor water park.

Nelson said he no longer plans to sell condos at the resort as part of the financing package. Kalahari is looking at alternative forms of financing and hopes to have it in place this spring. Nelson says his lenders tell him that the loan will be available once housing prices stabilize.

Nelson hopes to break ground on the project by the end of next summer.

For more on this story see tomorrow’s Free Lance-Star.

Click here for a press release on the latest addition to Kalahari’s Wisconsin park.

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