The buzz of Kalahari Resort & Conventions opening in Round Rock is electrifying! So much excitement and anticipation has surrounded the opening of this monumental resort, and it did not disappoint! From the life sized elephant statues at the entrance to the hippopotamus in the entry pond, this African themed resort is top notch, not only in paying attention to every detail, but also top notch in the way they treat their customers. In this blog, we’ll go into detail about our experience at Kalahari during our 3 night stay. But being a real estate company, we’ve also been asked how we think such a large business will effect home prices in Round Rock, TX. We’ll go into detail on this big question later in this blog.
Our Stay at Kalahari in Round Rock, TX
What exactly is there to do at Kalahari? This is a vacation destination with America’s largest indoor waterpark, right in our backyard. There are so many options to choose from, but this is how we spent our time as a family with 3 younger boys, ages 4, 6, and 8.
The Indoor Waterpark
The indoor waterpark…need I say more? 🙂 This was absolutely amazing. With 223,000 square feet of fun, this is America’s largest indoor waterpark. There are so many rides to choose from, and we rode almost all of them.
Our family favorite ride was the Smoke that Thunders, a 4 person massive raft that soars through a tunnel with a major, stomach-losing drop. This ride is named after the Victoria Falls in southern Africa. There are also 2 person tubes and 1 person tube waterslides, and we went down these multiple times. Our 8 year old, being a daredevil, even did the Sahara Sidewinder, a solo ride where the trap door flies open beneath your feet and you plummet vertically down but with a twist that’s a gravity-defying 360 degree loop. Our son did it twice…once was enough for me! We loved the Wave Pool too. I loved it especially since I didn’t get gritty from beach sand or have to worry about jellyfish stinging my boys. We just had fun in ‘clean’ ocean waves. For the waterpark rides map and height restrictions, click here.
For rest breaks, there are plenty of tables to choose from. We would go back to our table on breaks and enjoy a soda and pizza or chips…or just lounge and recover from the exhilarating rides. We do plan on going back to the water park for sure. Day passes are available but also consider staying at the hotel, as the waterpark is included in the stay.
Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park – Video Games & Rides
At night, we would go to Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park (day passes are also available). With 80,000 square feet of activities, rides, and games, all of our boys found things they loved to do. 2 of our boys are thrill-seekers and they loved the Red, White and Woo and the Scream’n Centipede. I also rode the Scream’n Centipede and couldn’t stop laughing due to our cart twirling around as we moved forward on the roller coaster. 1 of our boys isn’t much of a thrill-seeker, but there was plenty for him to do. He gravitated towards any game where he could earn tickets, so then he could go to the store and get prizes and candy. He also loved spinning us on the teacups…talk about getting dizzy!
The food was amazing and every food we tried was the best. From the salads to the pizza, to the burgers and shakes, we were never disappointed. In fact, we think the B-Lux Grill & Bar, located in the Tom Foolery’s arcade area, has the best shakes ever. You gotta try one of these monsters!
Other Options at Kalahari
If you’re not one for arcades or waterslides, Kalahari offers other options too! There’s an Outdoor Amphitheater where a band was playing at night. There’s 12 lanes of bowling, with the cutest bowling balls I’ve ever seen – they look like billiard balls. And there’s Spa Kalahari & Salon. I’m going to have to go back and try one of their luxurious massages! They have many spa services available. We didn’t check it out, but there is also Fitness and Training. I’m sure the weights and personal trainers are top notch!
How Kalahari Might Affect Round Rock Home Values
All right…now that we’ve covered what an awesome experience we had while staying at Kalahari, lets cover the real estate aspect of the equation. How might this ~350 acre resort affect the real estate prices of homes nearby? This is a tough question. I couldn’t find data specific to a combination waterpark and convention center opening, but I did find some results of these independently.
According to a 2016 article by Mangalesri Chandrasekaran at Property Guru, tourist hotspots positively affect nearby real estate values because the city’s infrastructure and surrounding businesses near the tourist hotspot will increase and improve. I consider Kalahari Resorts & Conventions a Texas tourist hotspot and would drive hours to experience all it has to offer. “Tourism hotspots are well-known to perform better in terms of real estate, as many people will be aware of the area’s existence due to its popularity,” according to Property Guru. So, this article leads me to believe that the luxury that is associated with Kalahari will enhance the property values of homes around it. Also, according to a study done by Houselogic, they found that specialty parks can boost home values $5,657, if the park is maintained and not overcrowded.
According to Daniel Axelrod of the Times Herald-Record, “The existing research (of theme park’s effects on property values) has produced mixed results, and it deals only with the construction of sports stadiums because so few theme parks have been built since the 1990s”. But even then, Kalahari isn’t just a theme park…it’s also a resort and convention center. It’s a huge business that’s hiring 100’s of workers. With a huge company hiring tons of employees, it’s hard to fathom home prices not going up. It’s the classic supply and demand situation. As the demand continues upward due to more people moving to the area, the inventory shortage will continue to drive home prices up.
Everything I’ve read leads me to conclude that Kalahari’s opening will help increase home values in Round Rock. But also keep in mind that other factors also impact property values. School ratings could change, economic fluctuations, surrounding big businesses effect values (anything happening to Dell Diamond, Dell Computers, Walmart on 79, etc)…a pandemic! There are many factors that affect home values in an area, not just one.
But the fact here is that opening such a large business in a small city will have a profound impact on property values and real estate patterns. Our position, based on our experience at Kalahari and our long term experience in real estate, is that this resort will have a positive influence on Round Rock’s real estate. Plus, we had a fantastic staycation and intend to go back soon. We feel so fortunate to live in such a great city like Round Rock and embrace Kalahari with open arms!