Kalahari Resorts to receive $25 million in bonds for Fredericksburg project

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The stalled Kalahari resort planned for Fredericksburg will receive $25 million in bonds from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The tax-exempt Recovery Zone Facility bonds were allocated to Wisconsin-based Kalahari Resorts, which announced plans for a $260 million water-park resort in late 2007. The bonds are intended for private projects in areas under economic stress. Fredericksburg’s Economic Development Authority applied for the bonds, but the debt will be paid by Kalahari Resorts. The bond application says that construction must begin by June 30.

Plans for the Fredericksburg resort stalled when Kalahari was unable to arrange financing. “Although there is still work to be done to secure the remainder of our financing, these bonds demonstrate a strong commitment to this project from both the city of Fredericksburg and the state of Virginia, and we consider this a victory,” said Todd Nelson, president and owner of Kalahari Resorts.

The Kalahari site at Fredericksburg’s Celebrate Virginia would include a water park, hotel, theme park, convention center, restaurants and retail space. The complex is expected to employ 1,200 full- and part-time workers.

Once the resort is complete, it is expected to draw 500,000 visitors a year.

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