Kalahari Resort on Tuesday took the wraps off the SuperLoop Sahara Sidewinders, a pair of looping waterslides with trap-door chambers that have been added to the resort's 124,000-square-foot indoor waterpark in Lake Delton.
Installation of the first indoor looping slides in the nation were part of a multimillion-dollar improvement project that started in September at the 11-year-old resort along Interstate 90-94.
"They're pretty intense," Travis Nelson, the resort's spokesman and "chief slide officer" said of the new looping slides. "But you want to go back and ride them again, and again."
Noah's Ark, an outdoor waterpark in Lake Delton, previously was the only place in the state with a looping waterslide. Its 10-story-tall, 400-foot-long Scorpion's Tail opened in 2010. The $1 million investment almost instantly became one of the park's most popular rides.
Kalahari officials have similar expectations with the Sahara Sidewinder.
The 60-foot-high, 250-foot-long looping slides, which aren't as vertical as Scorpion's Tail, are joined by the Screaming Hyena, a new near-vertical drop slide also with a trap-door start and from the same tower as the looping slides. Because of the height, the project required workers to bust through the 40-foot-high roof of the indoor waterpark.
Other recent projects at the resort include a 5,000-square-foot children's play area with a 200-foot-long lazy river, a $400,000 renovation of the main concession stand and a new African-themed mosaic floor in the lobby.
Nelson said the resort gets about 500,000 visitors a year and he expects bookings in the coming weeks to be up when compared to last December and January.
"The investment is certainly worth what we got out of it," Nelson said of the improvements. "To be able to offer a new experience to our guests is really important to us."