Kalahari Resort & Convention Center

Round Rock, Texas


OWNER: Kalahari Resorts & Conventions


GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

CIVIL ENGINEER: Halff Associates Inc.

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Brockette Davis Drake (BDD) Engineering

MEP ENGINEER: Blum Consulting Engineers Inc.

SUBCONTRACTORS: Accurate Paving; All Commercial Floors Inc.; Automated Logic Contracting Services; All Commercial Flooring; Alpha Fireproofing; Alpha Insulation and Waterproofing; Alterman Inc.; American Terrazzo Co.; AM-Finn Sauna and Steam; Anchor Ventana Glass; American Stair Corp. Inc.; Alamo Structural Steel LLC; ATS Drilling Inc.; ATX Construction Clean; Bee Cave Drilling Inc.; Bergelectric Corp.; Brightview Landscape Development Inc.; Brazos Masonry; Breckenridge Kitchen Equipment & Design; Brymer Communication Services LLC dba BryComm LLC; Capital Industries LLC; Casteel Automatic Fire Protection Inc.; Capitol Blind & Drapery Co. Inc.; CECO Concrete Construction LCC; Centex Flooring LLC; Chasco Constructors Ltd. LLP; Cherry Coatings; CHM Weatherguard LP; Coastal Shade Co.; Cody Pools; Door Control Services; DeraServ Corp dba Overhead Door Co. of Austin; Dynamic Systems Inc.; RW Solutions Inc. dba ERW Site Solutions; Flooring Solutions; Floyd’s Glass Co.; Galindo & Boyd Wall Systems LLC; Georgetown Energy Inc. dba Georgetown Fireplace & Patio; Hagler & Kerr LLC; Haley-Greer Inc.; Harris Rebar Nufab LLC; Heartland Acoustics & Interiors; Hensel Phelps; W.E. Imhoff & Co. Inc. DBA Intertech Flooring; Integrated Interiors Inc.; ISEC Inc.; Johnson Controls Fire Protection LP; JMEG LP; Johnson Equipment; D.R. Kidd Co. Inc. dba Kidd Roofing; Laforce Inc.; Lone Star Chutes; McCoy-Rockford Inc.; Miner Corp.; National Panel Systems; NeoPod Systems; Otis Elevator Co.; Outside The Lines Inc.; Peabody General Contractors Inc.; The Porter Co.; Pro-Bel Enterprises Ltd.; Querrey Construction Corp.; Rain King Inc.; Ranger Excavating LP; Rescue Air Systems; Sand Creek Post and Beam; Standard Drywall Inc.; Capital Crating Inc. dba Smith’s Chimney Sweeps; Southwest Progressive Enterprises Inc.; Spectrum Resource SCD LLC; SRT Construction LLC; TAB Technologies LLC; TDIndustries; Terra EcoServices LLC; TX Chutes LLC; Tindall Corp.; Trio Electric Ltd.; TX Timber Frames; Tuff Shed; US Flag & Flagpole Supply; Viking Fence Co. Ltd.; Zero Gravity LLC

This destination resort on 152 acres comprises 1.5 million sq ft of space, including a waterpark that totals 223,000 sq ft, an 11-story hotel, a family-entertainment center and—under separate contract—a 200,000-sq-ft convention center with a 41,000-sq-ft ballroom.


Photo by Rama Tiru

Opened as scheduled in November 2020 following an aggressive schedule, the $387-million Africa-themed entertainment venue has 10,000 sq ft of retail space, an indoor theme park with more than 80,000 sq ft of thrill rides, a spa, restaurants and 4,000 surface parking spaces. 


Photo by Rama Tiru

Sheer size and scale set the challenges for the team, which peaked at 1,300 workers. During the first year of construction alone, crews moved 400,000 cu yd of dirt, placed 57,500 cu yd of concrete and installed 9,000 tons of steel, along with 27,800 linear ft of drilled piers and 280 miles of post-tension cable and 4,600 tons of rebar.


Photo by Rama Tiru

To help relieve some of the state’s labor shortages, the team completed three different types of structures, requiring different skills for each, which allowed simultaneous construction. The hotel was designed as cast-in-place, the convention center as structural steel and the indoor waterpark as precast. Other time- and money-saving strategies included prefabrication of repetitive elements such as the bathroom pods.