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Non-Disney Theme Parks
Topic: Great Wolf Lodge coming to Garden Grove

Tue 6/29/2010 3:47a
A while back we discussed the announcement of a waterpark hotel coming to Garden Grove in another thread. Well, we now have a bit more info about the project.

From the Great Wolf Lodge website:

"Great Wolf Resorts Announces License and Management Agreement for New Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove, CA
MADISON, Wis., Jun 28, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.(R) (NASDAQ: WOLF), North America's largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, announced that it has signed License and Management Agreements related to the development of a new 600-suite Great Wolf Lodge(R) resort in Garden Grove, California's world famous International West Resort. The resort will be located less than two miles from Disneyland, near Anaheim and Los Angeles, and will be developed by McWhinney.

Great Wolf Resorts will receive license fees for use of the Great Wolf Lodge brand name and other intellectual property at the resort, and will receive management fees to operate the resort on behalf of the owner. It will also advise on certain development-related matters. The resort will be owned by a joint-venture, with Great Wolf Resorts receiving a minority equity interest for its development-related services. Additionally, the City of Garden Grove will contribute cash and bond proceeds to the resort, as well as establish a financing district to develop an adjacent parking structure.

Once complete, Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove's International West Resort, will be a full-service, family destination resort with 600 suites, 30,000 square feet of meeting space, 100,000 square feet indoor water park and additional indoor entertainment areas and amenities. Development is expected to begin in 2011. The Great Wolf Lodge project is contingent on obtaining construction financing, typical due diligence, and permit and license approvals.

"I am very excited about this license and management agreement. With a sizable population within a 3 hour drive along with the close proximity to Disneyland, we have an attractive location for Great Wolf's first California resort," said Kim Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer of Great Wolf Resorts. "The area is already established as a vacation destination with domestic and international travelers so it allows us to continue to monetize the value of the Great Wolf Lodge brand, business model and infrastructure. Utilizing joint ventures to grow our brand footprint with minimal capital requirements will help us to maximize the value of the company for shareholders."

Chad McWhinney, co-founder and chief executive officer of McWhinney commented, "We are pleased to be partnering with Great Wolf Resorts in developing a first-class destination. Our expertise as a comprehensive developer on the West Coast, combined with Great Wolf's leading brand in indoor water park resorts, is sure to result in a successful family destination."

"The Great Wolf Lodge will be the biggest attraction to be included in the International West Resort. This will be the most significant revenue generator in the City," said Matt Fertal, City Manager of the City of Garden Grove."

Tue 6/29/2010 6:58a
I will believe it the day after I see it.

But it is nice to see they already have Hostesses lining the street.
Tue 6/29/2010 8:04a
<California's world famous International West Resort. >

Never heard of it, but whatever.

Unlike many of GG's previous schemes, however, this one actually makes some sense. An extensive waterpark and a "lodge-y" themed feel might make enough tourists decide to stay a little farther away from DL.

Something that would make it make even more sense would be a dedicated shuttle to the parks, if they're smart enough to do it.

This is also an established brand, so this time GG isn't trying to create something untried and unproven.

As SFH says, "I'll believe it the day after I see it," but this one it seems to me stands a far better chance of coming to fruition than their previous big ideas.
Tue 6/29/2010 8:36a
I agree with Dabob. Great Wolf is well established brand that who's time has come to have footprints in California. As it's just a hotel with waterslides, there's no reason that it couldn't be as successful in realization and operation as the other large GG hotels on Harbor Boulevard (that also offer water recreation... in a form of a swimming pool/jacuzzi). If it can't get the hotel w/slides financed in it's current incarnation, scale it down to budget and build it.
Tue 6/29/2010 8:44a
Not sure about an indoor water park in So. Cal.
Tue 6/29/2010 9:17a
I recall this news being posted some months ago.
Tue 6/29/2010 9:40a
Guess this explains the aggressive Disney pool renovation decision. That new imagineer with the architectural garden design firm must have lost out on that opportunity(jmopinion of course) and in his mind he has convinced the world to destroy something that might have some future design interest with historical accomplishment. I would love to see any type of "news" related info about the opening of the Bonita Waterfall significance (back in the good old days)
This GG announcement does make the design plans for the DL Hotel some meaning to actually worry about competition and really create something outstanding tho'. I guess that gives me some hope.
Tue 6/29/2010 10:12a
>>Not sure about an indoor water park in So. Cal.<<

Why not? There are tourists who come to Anaheim, ready to wear their swimsuits and suntan lotion, regardless of the season. Anaheim does experience inclement weather in the winter and spring. An indoor waterpark, just like indoor swimming pool which many Marriott Courtyards feature, can remain open year-round and provide a non-summer season water recreation option for these travelers, and maybe locals too.
Dr Hans Reinhardt
Tue 6/29/2010 10:45a
Does everything in America have to be themed? What ever happened to just building good architecture?

"Guess this explains the aggressive Disney pool renovation decision."

Great observation.
Tue 6/29/2010 11:51a
" Garden Grove, California's world famous International West Resort."

BWAHAHAHA! That's a classic!

Seriously? Someone from Garden Grove actually told the Great Wolf publicity department out in Madison that Harbor Blvd. is called International West Resort? That strip of chain hotels and a half dozen corporate restaurants in an otherwise gritty part of town is a "world famous" resort? Or is it that drive-thru pharmacy and 99 Cent Store across the street that gives the International West Resort it's global reputation? I don't think it's the Humdinger Lounge on the current property of the future Great Wolf hotel that's doing it. It must be the Outback Steakhouse and 99 Cent Store. Maybe the discount shoe emporium on the opposite corner? Or the long-closed and well-tagged old Toys R' Us behind the chainlink fence next door?

Gawd, that's funny stuff there. You can't make that up, you just have to wait for a breathless press release from a clueless marketing department to hand it to you on a silver platter.

"Garden Grove, California's world famous International West Resort"


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