Kalahari Expansion Brings Jobs

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SANDUSKY -- "It's a great day in Kalahari's history," said General Manager Brian Shanle.

On Tuesday, Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky became one of the largest convention spaces in Ohio thanks to a $22 Million expansion.

"This will allow us to compete with venues across the nation instead of just some of the larger places here in Ohio," said Shanle.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur added, "It really anchors our coast and allows us to build on our growing tourist industry and recreation industry."

The expansion began in 2010 and last March, Kalahari broke ground on the project.  They added 120,000 square feet, bringing the new convention center to a whopping 215,000 square feet.

"Go big, or go home," Shanle said.

"Kalahari's investment represents an understanding that nature tourism and related facilities are big business," said Kaptur.

Big business means more jobs for a business that already employs 1,250 associates.

"This will add at least 140 jobs to our current workforce," added Shanle.

In addition to the 140 full-time jobs the expansion of the convention center will add, it will also create taxable revenue close to $150 million over the next 20 years.

"This is a keeper for our region," said Kaptur.  "It's really helping to redefine and help us market our coast as it is."

Since Kalahari opened in 2005, there has been a major expansion every year, and that trend is not expected to end with the Convention Center.

"We still believe there is a lot more on the horizon," said Shanle.

So you can cross Kalahari off as just another indoor water park.