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Jul 23, 2014
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I’m not quite sure which thread I should post this in, but I’d love to start this discussion. This week Spotsylvania County approved for a Kalahari Water Park resort to be built in Thornburg, VA. This is only 3 exits north of Kings Dominion on 95. This is going to be a large resort with an entertainment center, convention center, indoor water park, and 10-acre outdoor water park and is expected to bring in large tourism to the area. With this being built 30 minutes away from Kings Dominion, do we think this will have a positive or negative impact on the future of our park? Will having Busch Gardens, Water Country, Kalahari and Six flags all within a few hour drives hurt Kings Dominion due to too much competition? Or do we think that having Kalahari within 30 minutes will improve KD’s attendance by making the area more of a destination. I’m very excited to have a new water park in the area, but I’m also interested in how everything will be affected. https://fredericksburg.com/news/loc...cle_edf5210c-136b-503f-946c-c1aac67c0120.html
 
Apr 7, 2013
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Is this basically a competitor to Great Wolf Lodge? If so isn't there one of those in WIlliamsburg?
Yes and yes. They are both a "little" different.

Kalahria resorts tend to be larger (but they are different sizes), but less themed / immersive... in my experience.

I think it will be a positive for the RVA / Kings Dominion region.
 

b.mac

Indiana Beach Vibe
May 14, 2011
4,767
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BFE, Virginia
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Looks to be going about here between Interstate 95 and Route 1. I'm pretty sure they're trying to combination draw people from Richmond and the DC area but the biggest draw I personally see is for the kids who like auto racing since Dominion Raceway is right up the street.

I am concerned a bit by the amount of performance incentives that Spotsy are giving for this thing to go forward and the fact that they didn't notify the public about that agreement but at the same time apparently they're "rapidly growing" so hopefully it works out for them.
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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I wonder if there's any chance of the Family Entertainment Center area including a small coaster like the Kalahari in Texas features...
 
Dec 7, 2021
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I wonder if there's any chance of the Family Entertainment Center area including a small coaster like the Kalahari in Texas features...
It wouldn’t surprise me. SBF Visa is the current king of tiny, compact, and affordable coasters with lots of different types to pick from.
 
Mar 8, 2022
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If nothing else this will likely boost KD's Winterfest attendance. One year my family booked a stay at Great Wolf Lodge next to KI and combined it with a Winterfest visit.... it was very interesting to see how many others did the same exact thing.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Who doesn't love the idea of more cars on I95?
I got to apologize if this comes off the wrong way as I respond but comments like this are quite infuriating to city planners.

1 - Widening I-95 will only make things worse. Especially if you go to more lanes than you need, more people will feel the need to use it. Now, you could be correct if you wanted to argue that VDOT needs to do two way express lanes at a lowered toll rate. That should be done. But overall widening won’t make it better.

2 - In terms of how the traffic will hit I-95, Kalahari will have a much smaller traffic impact on I-95 than Snyder new stadium. With Kalahari, people will be checking in and out all throughout the week and be arriving at different times. While, again a little correct, more cars will be on the road; the traffic rate will go up a small number per hour. Compare that to Snyder proposed stadium. That could be anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 (depending on employees, public transit) cars hitting the road almost simultaneously on the same day of the week. Doesn’t matter what else goes on there, every Sunday, every time there’s a concert, every little event held at that potential new stadium will do far worse things to 95 than Kalahari.

3 - Kalahari most likely won’t induce new traffic on 95 that wasn’t there, rather it’s going to keep traffic off of 1, and money out of the hotels and towns along 95. It will make more cars go to a single point rather than multiple points across the highway in that area. What would need to happen for 95 to get real bad is to keep Kalahari off a poorly maintained exit that’s not intended for high traffic flow. If they can make it easily accessible and include a high flow rate exit like a diverging diamond interchange, it might have a chance at helping traffic.

4 - In discussions with other people still in the planning field, we’ve come to the conclusion that VA’s 95/81/64 issues is the lack of major highways connecting in between those points. VA desperately needs alternative routes that connect E/W and NE/SW/SE/NW to cross the state. They need a highway going N/S through Charlottesville. The reason traffic stays on 95 is more that it’s the only way N/S along with 81. So traffic to get to middle parts of the states are pushed to them.

5 - Overpopulation of NOVA, along with Fredericksburg/Richmond becoming the main living while commuting for the week likely has an even bigger stress on 95. Especially as Amtrak remains an ineffective competitor to the automobile. A high speed rail to connect Richmond, Fredericksburg, and DC; with those being the only 3 stops, could make the commute about 40 minutes total. That helps with two major issues, 95 traffic and overpopulation of the NOVA area.

Basically, for a planner, to hear people blame a single new tourist item for increased traffic is quite frustrating. Traffic science isn’t a simple one lever for one outcome. And often what the public sees is the major issue is almost a non-factor in the entire system. Personally as a country, I think we do a terrible job in properly funding and promoting the use of public transit. It’s seen as a ’poor person’ solution that’s dirty, unreliable, and unsafe. We need to improve that. We need to make it clean, safe, and enticing to do.
 
Jan 30, 2022
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I got to apologize if this comes off the wrong way as I respond but comments like this are quite infuriating to city planners.

1 - Widening I-95 will only make things worse. Especially if you go to more lanes than you need, more people will feel the need to use it. Now, you could be correct if you wanted to argue that VDOT needs to do two way express lanes at a lowered toll rate. That should be done. But overall widening won’t make it better.

2 - In terms of how the traffic will hit I-95, Kalahari will have a much smaller traffic impact on I-95 than Snyder new stadium. With Kalahari, people will be checking in and out all throughout the week and be arriving at different times. While, again a little correct, more cars will be on the road; the traffic rate will go up a small number per hour. Compare that to Snyder proposed stadium. That could be anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 (depending on employees, public transit) cars hitting the road almost simultaneously on the same day of the week. Doesn’t matter what else goes on there, every Sunday, every time there’s a concert, every little event held at that potential new stadium will do far worse things to 95 than Kalahari.

3 - Kalahari most likely won’t induce new traffic on 95 that wasn’t there, rather it’s going to keep traffic off of 1, and money out of the hotels and towns along 95. It will make more cars go to a single point rather than multiple points across the highway in that area. What would need to happen for 95 to get real bad is to keep Kalahari off a poorly maintained exit that’s not intended for high traffic flow. If they can make it easily accessible and include a high flow rate exit like a diverging diamond interchange, it might have a chance at helping traffic.

4 - In discussions with other people still in the planning field, we’ve come to the conclusion that VA’s 95/81/64 issues is the lack of major highways connecting in between those points. VA desperately needs alternative routes that connect E/W and NE/SW/SE/NW to cross the state. They need a highway going N/S through Charlottesville. The reason traffic stays on 95 is more that it’s the only way N/S along with 81. So traffic to get to middle parts of the states are pushed to them.

5 - Overpopulation of NOVA, along with Fredericksburg/Richmond becoming the main living while commuting for the week likely has an even bigger stress on 95. Especially as Amtrak remains an ineffective competitor to the automobile. A high speed rail to connect Richmond, Fredericksburg, and DC; with those being the only 3 stops, could make the commute about 40 minutes total. That helps with two major issues, 95 traffic and overpopulation of the NOVA area.

Basically, for a planner, to hear people blame a single new tourist item for increased traffic is quite frustrating. Traffic science isn’t a simple one lever for one outcome. And often what the public sees is the major issue is almost a non-factor in the entire system. Personally as a country, I think we do a terrible job in properly funding and promoting the use of public transit. It’s seen as a ’poor person’ solution that’s dirty, unreliable, and unsafe. We need to improve that. We need to make it clean, safe, and enticing to do.
1) As someone who lives off of exit 133, I can assure you that not addressing the lack of lanes on I-95 as more cars continue to use it isn't the answer either. The problem lies at the Rappahannock, and the woefully inadequate alternate crossings of it - and the new bridges at 95 aren't cutting it. The answer lies in removing cars from I-95. There is a petition for a common sense solution to alleviate some of the problem at the Rappahannock by building a local route connecting Stafford to Fredericksburg and beyond. https://chng.it/cyT5FYbLLM

2) Thankfully, VA legislators seem to have come to their senses and will not be giving Billionaire Snyder any tax dollars, so hopefully that will keep his defunct team in Maryland

3) Despite the wishes of residents who would like the southern part of the county to remain rural, Spotsylvania has been trying to make something happen at Thornburg for years, The Kalahari resort itself isn't going to add much traffic, but I am concerned about future development AROUND the Kalahari resort. If they start clear cutting and making townhouse development after Townhouse development like most exits north of there, it's going to get bad in a hurry.

4) In lieu of the political will and $$$ to make a new N/S highway between 95 and 81, Local bypasses keeping local traffic off of 95 would help minimize traffic.

5) HS rail would be viable IF they didn't charge an arm and a leg for tickets- but based on the current Amtrak tickets, that's not going to happen. Thankfully, my work pays for my VRE ticket, and that option keeps me off of 95 during the week, but it's not enough.

Edited: typos, though I probably missed some.
 
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EdK

Feb 26, 2021
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Driving from Baltimore to Williamsburg last Wednesday wasn't bad in the late morning and early evening but other days it's complete hell. The thing I don't understand is even with little traffic on the highway, people prefer to drive in the left lane. I found myself in the right lane multiple times passing people in the left lanes which isn't safe. It seems these people are the biggest causes for traffic backups and accidents on the highway because they force fast moving traffic to slow down and pass on the right. It also results in cars weaving in and out of traffic to get around these moving traffic blockades. I did see a sign in DE on 95 that said "Camping is for parks, not the left lane". Not sure it helped.
 
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Jan 30, 2022
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Driving from Baltimore to Williamsburg last Wednesday wasn't bad in the late morning and early evening but other days it's complete hell. The thing I don't understand is even with little traffic on the highway, people prefer to drive in the left lane. I found myself in the right lane multiple times passing people in the left lanes which isn't safe. It seems these people are the biggest causes for traffic backups and accidents on the highway because they force fast moving traffic to slow down and pass on the right. It also results in cars weaving in and out of traffic to get around these moving traffic blockades. I did see a sign in DE on 95 that said "Camping is for parks, not the left lane". Not sure it helped.
I don't know why, but NY plates are the worst offenders for this. They'll camp in the left lane at or below the speed limit.
 

Jonesta6

Glumble
Feb 14, 2019
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So to the actual resort - curious what the expected attendance will be. Seems a bit out of the way for any large conferences, and though KD is on the up and there's becoming more use of the Meadow Event Park beyond the State Fair, Ashland is just 5-10 minutes down the road (not to mention the KD KOA).
 
Oct 20, 2019
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I got to apologize if this comes off the wrong way as I respond but comments like this are quite infuriating to city planners.

1 - Widening I-95 will only make things worse. Especially if you go to more lanes than you need, more people will feel the need to use it. Now, you could be correct if you wanted to argue that VDOT needs to do two way express lanes at a lowered toll rate. That should be done. But overall widening won’t make it better.

2 - In terms of how the traffic will hit I-95, Kalahari will have a much smaller traffic impact on I-95 than Snyder new stadium. With Kalahari, people will be checking in and out all throughout the week and be arriving at different times. While, again a little correct, more cars will be on the road; the traffic rate will go up a small number per hour. Compare that to Snyder proposed stadium. That could be anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 (depending on employees, public transit) cars hitting the road almost simultaneously on the same day of the week. Doesn’t matter what else goes on there, every Sunday, every time there’s a concert, every little event held at that potential new stadium will do far worse things to 95 than Kalahari.

3 - Kalahari most likely won’t induce new traffic on 95 that wasn’t there, rather it’s going to keep traffic off of 1, and money out of the hotels and towns along 95. It will make more cars go to a single point rather than multiple points across the highway in that area. What would need to happen for 95 to get real bad is to keep Kalahari off a poorly maintained exit that’s not intended for high traffic flow. If they can make it easily accessible and include a high flow rate exit like a diverging diamond interchange, it might have a chance at helping traffic.

4 - In discussions with other people still in the planning field, we’ve come to the conclusion that VA’s 95/81/64 issues is the lack of major highways connecting in between those points. VA desperately needs alternative routes that connect E/W and NE/SW/SE/NW to cross the state. They need a highway going N/S through Charlottesville. The reason traffic stays on 95 is more that it’s the only way N/S along with 81. So traffic to get to middle parts of the states are pushed to them.

5 - Overpopulation of NOVA, along with Fredericksburg/Richmond becoming the main living while commuting for the week likely has an even bigger stress on 95. Especially as Amtrak remains an ineffective competitor to the automobile. A high speed rail to connect Richmond, Fredericksburg, and DC; with those being the only 3 stops, could make the commute about 40 minutes total. That helps with two major issues, 95 traffic and overpopulation of the NOVA area.

Basically, for a planner, to hear people blame a single new tourist item for increased traffic is quite frustrating. Traffic science isn’t a simple one lever for one outcome. And often what the public sees is the major issue is almost a non-factor in the entire system. Personally as a country, I think we do a terrible job in properly funding and promoting the use of public transit. It’s seen as a ’poor person’ solution that’s dirty, unreliable, and unsafe. We need to improve that. We need to make it clean, safe, and enticing to do.

It would be AMAZING to see a train like Amtrak’s Acela have its own line here in VA. Whenever I think of the line from DC to Boston, which takes a little under 3 hours, I always wish they had extended it just one more major city south.
 
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Jul 23, 2014
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5) HS rail would be viable IF they didn't charge an arm and a leg for tickets- but based on the current Amtrak tickets, that's not going to happen. Thankfully, my work pays for my VRE ticket, and that option keeps me off of 95 during the week, but it's not enough.

5 - Overpopulation of NOVA, along with Fredericksburg/Richmond becoming the main living while commuting for the week likely has an even bigger stress on 95. Especially as Amtrak remains an ineffective competitor to the automobile. A high speed rail to connect Richmond, Fredericksburg, and DC; with those being the only 3 stops, could make the commute about 40 minutes total. That helps with two major issues, 95 traffic and overpopulation of the NOVA area.
The other issue is every town/city in between Fredericksbrug and DC (Stafford, Woodbridge, Quantico, Lorton, etc...) will start doing what that area does and believe that their area is important enough to have a stop and 3 becomes 7 becomes 10 then it defeats the purpose of the High Speed. Likewise with the rumors of the Commanders moving to that area, I can see that being piggy backed on this as well.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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The other issue is every town/city in between Fredericksbrug and DC (Stafford, Woodbridge, Quantico, Lorton, etc...) will start doing what that area does and believe that their area is important enough to have a stop and 3 becomes 7 becomes 10 then it defeats the purpose of the High Speed. Likewise with the rumors of the Commanders moving to that area, I can see that being piggy backed on this as well.
That’s what local trains are for. They can do that. No need to tough high speed.

This just highlights the issue we as Americans have with multimodal transportation. That shouldn’t happen. You don’t need high scores to drop you off right there.
 
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