Case Study: Kalahari Resort

“Always 84 and Sunny”

Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio offers guests a controlled inside alternative to traditional outside waterpark attractions.

Just minutes from Cedar Point Amusement Park, Kalahari has become a major destination for vacationers in Ohio and the surrounding states who are seeking a family-oriented atmosphere.

Kalahari has helped make Sandusky and even greater travel location, especially during the winter months, when other outdoor attractions close due to cold weather. Kalahari, however, is always “84 and sunny” (a promise from the resort) thanks to their intricate HVAC system and roof makeup that allows penetrating sunlight.

Problem: Current Ductwork needed Replacement

At over 173,000 square-feet, Kalahari is one of the biggest indoor waterparks in the United States. Sandusky’s resort features over 884 rooms, making it the largest hotel in the state of Ohio. Its waterpark portion is only trumped in size by the more recently opened Kalahari resort in Pennsylvania.

Kalahari’s waterpark opened in 2005 at 80,000 square-feet and was quickly expanded another 93,000 square feet in 2008.

Due to the harsh environment presented by an indoor pool, the metal support structure for air distribution ductwork began to corrode and required replacement in 2018.

Challenges: Restraining Environment and Hours

When Kalahari needed to make significant upgrades to their ductwork after an unexpected failure, they didn’t want to spend days or even weeks closed to the public. That type of downtime wasn’t in the plans, and another solution needed to be worked through to fix issues.

Kalahari wanted their contractor on the project, Gundlach Metal Works, to work during off-hours. This presented a unique challenge to the contractors’ team but would also extend the life of the project before completion.

Installation of the new system was also a challenge due to the waterpark’s intricate layout and its tight restrictions. Gundlach’s team had to use special work lifts with weight restrictions to complete the job.


Solution: Ductsox and specified pool environment supports

Ductsox, a fabric alternative to traditional metal ductwork, was pegged as the right solution for Kalahari’s massive air distribution needs.

Applications for Ductsox are endless, but traditionally systems are installed in schools, offices, restaurants, pools, retail stores, warehouses, and health clubs. DuctSox HVAC ducts are also installed in critical environment settings such as laboratories, commercial kitchens, and food processing facilities.

Ductsox is versatile due to its fabric makeup. Removing a ductwork’s metal build helps simplify design, improve cost savings, lowers labor hours, and provides more uniform air distribution.

Kalahari’s visual aesthetics are important and a big part of its brand. The highly themed resort is designed to give guests the feeling that they are spending their time on the African Savanna. To match their visual presentation, Kalahari preferred the less intrusive and easier to hide DuctSox system instead of more traditional metal ductwork.

The Ductsox components were secured by a special support system that’s specified for unique pool environments. For pool applications, a plastic-coated impregnated cable is used for installation. Each part of the cable is individually coated in waterproof polypropylene, then wound together to increase support. The support cable will successfully withstand corrosion, abrasion, and deformation over time.

Results: A safer, longer-lasting air distribution system

Gundlach Metal Works team installed the new system for over three months. When the project was complete, their feedback on Ductsox and its ease of installation were positive. Kalahari ownership was also pleased with the project’s execution and the look presented by DuctSox.

Full Project Photo Gallery

Interested in learning more about Air Control Products manufacturers and commercial HVAC capabilities in Ohio? Contact us to learn more.