Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive



America’s Largest Waterpark Resort Owner Todd Nelson Is Second
Keynoter at Workshop Set for February 28 & 29
Kalahari Owner Talks About Thrill of the Chase

January 23, 2008 --- Todd Nelson, president and owner of Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, WI and Sandusky OH, is the second keynote speaker selected to address resort developers at a major conference scheduled for late February at Nelson’s Ohio property. 

Several hundred resort developers from across the USA, Mexico & Canada are expected to meet at the NIA Center, a conference and events center at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH, on February 28 & 29, 2008 to learn more about developing and financing indoor waterparks as part of mixed-use resort projects.  For information and registration, go to or call 800-475-3667. 

“We chose the Kalahari Resort-Sandusky as our meeting site due to its recent opening as the largest indoor waterpark resort in the USA. 

It seemed only natural to invite Todd Nelson to talk about his many accomplishments at such a young age,” according to hotel-waterpark consultant and co-producer of the event, Jeff Coy, who heads JLC Hospitality Consulting of Phoenix-Cave Creek AZ. 

“Todd Nelson will speak about the Thrill of the Chase following lunch on Thursday, Feb 28th.  Todd is known in the hospitality-waterpark industry as a man of action, a young entrepreneur, who claims that in this business “Bigger is better!”  At age 14, Todd was washing dishes.  At 15, he became the youngest auctioneer in the country.  At 19, he leased a bar & grill and successfully operated it for 24 years.” 

“In 1997, Todd built the Rain Tree Resort with a small indoor waterpark.  He sold it one year later for $12 million and used the money to invest in his dream --- what became the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, the largest indoor waterpark in the USA, until Todd expanded Sandusky to 173,000 square feet,” according to Coy. 

Recently, Nelson announced his third Kalahari Resort in Fredericksburg, VA. 

The workshop is focused on the future of resort development and hotel waterpark resorts.  Top planners, designers and engineers from the waterpark, theme park, ski, recreation and entertainment industries will be on hand to discuss the future of mixed-use resort destination projects.  Several equity investors and bankers will talk about ways to finance these projects. 

Over 40 experts are scheduled to speak.  The workshop features new sessions on the mainstreaming of adventure sports, the merging of lodging-recreation-entertainment concepts, preparing to meet the money, raising equity and arranging for loans on such projects. 

Speakers include the top architectural design engineering firms in the hotel-waterpark industry: Architectural Design Consultants of Lake Delton WI, Planning Design Build of Madison WI, The Weber Group of Sellersburg IN, Aquatic Development Group of Cohoes NY, The Neuman Group of Beaver Dam WI, Cloward H2O of Provo UT, Ramaker & Associates of Sauk City WI and Michael Lee Designs of Orem UT. 

One session on How to Select Slides & Play Structures for Your Indoor Waterpark will feature speakers from the leading manufacturers: Whitewater West Industries of Vancouver BC, ProSlide of Ottawa Canada, WaterFun Products of Calgary AB, SCS Interactive of Denver CO and Westwind Leisure of Edmonton AB. 

Waterpark industry consultant Bill Haralson of William L. Haralson & Associates in Alto NM and retractable roof expert Bart Riberich of Uni-Systems LLC of Minneapolis MN are co-producers of this third annual event called Developing & Financing Hotel Waterpark Resorts. 

“We’ve also invited several sponsors to participate with us because the waterslide and waterplay equipment manufacturers are so important in the development process,” according to Haralson. 

“Workshop attendees will be able to talk about their dream projects with speakers and sponsors in a relaxed 3-hour reception on Thursday evening.” 

Sponsors include Uni-Systems, Splashtacular, American Structurepoint, Aquatic Development Group. Ramaker & Associates, Resort+Recreation Magazine, Planning Design Build, Waterplay, Agilisys, Architectural Design Consultants, Hunter Amenities International, Neptune-Benson, Neuman Group, Precision Dynamics Corporation, Westwind Leisure Group, Rain Drop Products, ProSlide, Counsilman-Hunsaker, SCS Interactive, Smart Carte, The Weber Group and Wave Loch. 

About 400 resort developers, hotel managers, attraction owners, city council members, economic development directors, CVB staffs and tourism officials are expected to attend. 

For conference registration, go to or call toll-free 800-475-3667 and ask for Rob Dengler.  For sponsorship opportunities, call Bill Haralson at 505-802-1522.  For speaking opportunities, call Jeff Coy at 480-488-3382. 


For conference registration, 
go to
or call toll-free 800-475-3667 and ask for Rob Dengler. 

Speakers, contact Jeff Coy
at 480-488-3382 or email

Sponsors, contact Bill Haralson 
at 505-802-1522 or email

Also See: Waterpark Developers Look for Energy Savings; America’s Energy Coach Tom Kiser is Keynote Speaker at Workshop Set for February 28 & 29, 2008 at Kalahari Resort / January 2008
Hotel Waterpark Developers Workshop Set for February 28 & 29, 2008 at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio / October 2007

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources | Press Releases
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.