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Massive indoor water park opens in Round Rock the same week Texas surpasses million COVID cases


Singer songwriter Jordin Sparks rides the Cheetah Mat Racer maskless in a promo photo for the new indoor water park. - TWITTER / KALAHARIRESORTS
  • Twitter / KalahariResorts
  • Singer songwriter Jordin Sparks rides the Cheetah Mat Racer maskless in a promo photo for the new indoor water park.

Sure, Texas has more coronavirus cases on record than many entire countries, but that's not stopping Kalahari Resorts from celebrating the opening of its latest venture in Round Rock: a massive, indoor water park.

Despite the fact that COVID-19 cases are spiking alarmingly across the United States — not to mention data showing that activities involving extended time indoors have the highest risk of contagion — the new park opened north of Austin on Thursday.

"We have 1.5 million square feet of space to play and room to roam. It’s been a challenging year, and what better way to get away from the worry and enjoy time having fun together as a family and community," Kalahari Resorts owner Todd Nelson said in a press release in September.

The resort has publicized COVID-19 protocols online, which include social distancing and sanitization measures. While Texas' statewide mask mandate applies to the Round Rock property's indoor spaces, Kalahari Resorts notes on its website that masks aren't required for what may form the bulk of visitors' experiences: using the water attractions and dining either at a restaurant or bar.

Unsurprisingly, some Texans aren't particularly thrilled by the water park's opening, saying on social media that they worry it could become host to a so-called "superspreader event."

"Texas just became the first state to hit over one million coronavirus cases, and we’re celebrating by sending 3,000 people a day to go huff each other’s COVID buttholes in an indoor water park," Austin-based reporter Andrea Grimes tweeted on Friday morning.

"I was going to type 'please don’t kill people working minimum wage at a water park' but people are already lining up to pay for the privilege so that ship has sailed," she continued in another tweet.

Austin twitter user @arclight expressed frustration, warning that the resort's opening may have a ripple effect: "Here I am, in my 8th month of plague-induced social isolation and a few miles north some investors are staging the grand opening of their indoor water park. Cool, cool... it's not like Round Rock's collective suicide won't leak south..."

Further south still, San Antonio's coronavirus caseload is also rising, with the city's weekly positivity rate reaching 8.4% as of Monday. So, while it sucks to spend time cooped up inside — and Kalahari's Round Rock resort is within day-trip distance — it's clear some Lone Star State residents would prefer fellow Texans find outdoor entertainment prospects.

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