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Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Finds Guests Need More than a Waterpark, Adding a $15 million
 24-lane Bowling Alley, 65-foot Ferris Wheel, Ropes Course, 200 Arcade Games
By Barry Adams, The Wisconsin State JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

May 8, 2008 - Kalahari Resort in Lake Delton has broken ground on a $15 million indoor entertainment facility that will include a 24-lane bowling alley, 65-foot Ferris wheel, ropes course and zip line and over 200 arcade games.

The 110,000-square-foot, two-level facility is scheduled to open Dec. 19, just in time for the Christmas break rush that brings thousands of people to the Wisconsin Dells area.

The center will be connected to the 740-room hotel. Indoor walkways will also be built to connect the facility to the neighboring Damon's restaurant, which was recently purchased by the Kalahari, and the 15-screen Desert Star Cinema, said Todd Nelson, owner of the resort.

"What we found is that our guests need more to do than just water," Nelson said. "We think it's the next direction our business is going in. It's more things for people to do."

A similar project is planned for the Kalahari Resort under construction in Fredericksburg, Va., and at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, Nelson said.

Officials have not given a name to the Lake Delton project, which will also include a carousel, similar to that of one at the San Diego Zoo, a two-story laser tag area, go-carts, mini golf, two golf simulators, a sports bar, pizza restaurant and a dance floor.

The addition is expected to employ between 70 and 90 people and will include a 65-foot-tall and 75-foot-wide glass wall that will allow passing motorists on Interstate 90-94 to see the Ferris wheel and other rides inside the African-themed building, Nelson said.

The project is the second indoor entertainment facility near the intersection of Highway 12 and I-90-94.

Last year, the Waterman family, which built Noah's Ark Water Park and what is now Great Wolf Lodge, opened an 80,000-square-foot indoor entertainment center that includes a 24-lane bowling alley, amusement rides and 125 arcade games.

Knuckleheads Bowling & Family Entertainment Center is adjacent to Buffalo Phil's Grille, a three-story, 35,000-square-foot eatery that seats more than 1,000 diners, also owned by the Watermans and which opened at about the same time as the entertainment facility.

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To see more of The Wisconsin State Journal, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.wisconsinstatejournal.com.

Copyright (c) 2008, The Wisconsin State Journal

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