Kalahari conference center opens in Sandusky

Posted Tuesday, September 19, 2006 9:03 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, which opened in March, 2005, and features a large indoor water park, today opens its new $19 million conference center to complement its 600-room resort. That will make the site a prime competitor with convention sites closer to Toledo. It also plans to snare business from Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Detroit.

Read more from The Toledo Blade.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 10:20 AM
Unless I missed it, the article doesn't stipulate how big the conference center is, and that will be THE major factor in drumming up convention business. I belong to a relatively small Association of about 2,000 members and our annual conference requires 80,000-100,000 sq feet of convention space. In Florida that limits us mostly to the Orlando area.

But, I think it is a wise move and it is something Cedar Point should have considered long ago if they want year-round revenue. There is land near the Breakers Express. If I were them I would consider a large Convention Center over there and figure out a way to interconnect the Express and Castaway Bay.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 10:57 AM
Gemini's avatar According to an article from the Register that ran near the end of construction:

- The Nia Center is a 95,000 square-foot facility.

- There are 596 attached guest rooms, including 133 executive style suites.

- The back entrance of the building can accommodate a fire truck or crane.

- The facility also features four 1,200 square foot African hut style meeting rooms.

There looks to be some info on the resort's web site as well.

It really does sound impressive and I think it's a tremendous boost to the Sandusky area.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 11:21 AM
Jeff's avatar I don't understand why Cedar Fair hasn't built something like this as well. There aren't a lot of nice places to do this stuff in Northern Ohio. I think it's a missed opportunity.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006 1:41 PM
I'll tell ya why...because the guy upstairs can't seem to pull the trigger on anything that doesn't go clickety-clack, clickety-clack. That explains why Sandcastle Suites was built on the cheap, why they don't have a real Convention Center, why they have poor technology, why they don't own the property that is at Rt 6 and Cedar Point Dr.

Now, after Great Wolf Lodge is successful, they build Castaway Bay. When the local campgrounds have success with little cottages they go that route with Lighthouse Point.

You see a trend here?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:03 PM
Yeah, but "Guy upstairs" is gonna go out with a bang. Some day.:)


*** This post was edited by tambo 9/19/2006 2:05:18 PM ***

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 4:11 PM
Jeff's avatar I'm with you, Wahoo. Isn't it funny how someone can go from hero to lame duck in the course of a year? Still waiting for that real night life too. Even Schlitterbahn gets that.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006 4:24 PM
I'm not sure he's a lame duck and I don't want to sound overly critical...I just don't want the guy to get a free pass because he built some incredible rollercoasters.

He took Cedar Point from local/regional amusement park to near-national status. He expanded Cedar Fair to one of the top three amusment park operators in the country. And there are other positives as well.


He still has a staff of people who are underpaid. He still has infrastructure in need of repair. He has left a lot of the potential of the company just waiting for a kick in the pants.

And, his people are eager to run. Of that I'm sure. I know the resort folks would love to run a world-class resort (or at least make strides toward that) but he has placed too many limitations on that.

As good as the live entertainment is at Cedar Point and around the company, I can only imagine how much better it could be given the talents of those in that department if they were given the resources.

The Customer Service could be on par with Disney if they utilized some of the common technology we've talked about in other threads and on other sites.

He has done wonders for Cedar Fair. No doubt. But I can only imagine they would be if he empowered his people and gave them a longer leash.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 10:18 AM
Pete's avatar Totally agree. For CP to grow, they absolutely need to take that next step and become a world class resort, with world class amenities. Especially adult oriented things.

I know the biggest complaint from my extended family, and why it is sometimes hard to get them to go to CP, is the lack of things to do if you are not into roller coasters. If they had night life, more spa type things, a party zone like City Walk, much better room service in the hotels, etc. then it would be a piece of cake to get them to go.

The thing I hear most often is "What am I going to do all day while you go ride your roller coasters, I don't want to just sit at the pool."

CP needs to evolve from a great amusement park with a resort to a world class resort that also has a great amusement park.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 6:27 PM
Why does this strike me as something that is in Holiday World or Busch Gardens Africa?

Oh, the name!



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