Great Wolf Lodge opens in Arizona and here’s what to expect
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., North America’s largest family of indoor water park resorts, celebrated the grand opening of the much anticipated Great Wolf Lodge Arizona Thursday during a special poolside ceremony this evening. Three-time Olympic gold-medal gymnast Gabby Douglas joined Great Wolf Resorts’ Chief Executive Officer, Murray Hennessy to officially open the company’s first location in the Southwest, and the first indoor waterpark resort within the state of Arizona.
“We have been overwhelmed by the community’s enthusiasm for this resort, and we are equally excited to open our doors and provide some howling good fun to families across the Southwest,” said Hennessy. “Great Wolf Lodge Arizona is sure to be a favored staycation destination for families in the valley, with attractions, dining and entertainment offerings specifically designed to create treasured family moments.”
“We at Great Wolf are so excited to be in Arizona,” said Brian Johnson, general manager of Great Wolf Lodge Arizona at the grand opening. “We’re happy to bring the brand of hospitality of Great Wolf here to Arizona and to the Southwest and we’re going to be here for years to come and create remarkable memories for years to come.”
As part of the grand opening festivities, Great Wolf Lodge announced a special weekend “slide-a-thon” to benefit the Phoenix-based charity, Make-A-Wish®. Running through park close on Sunday, Great Wolf Lodge Arizona will donate $20 every time a family takes a trip down the all-new Diamondback Drop slide, and help Make-A-Wish grant life-changing wishes for children battling critical illnesses. Gabby Douglas kicked off the “slide-a-thon” accompanied by 10-year-old Kendall, a Make-A-Wish kid who received a kidney transplant, whose wish to meet Douglas was granted at the grand opening event. Great Wolf Lodge estimates the “slide-a-thon” will generate a donation to Make-A-Wish of $30,000 or more.
Also in celebration of the official grand opening, Great Wolf Lodge Arizona is offering a 40% discount on Sunday-Thursday resort stays by using promotional code “CELEBRATE.” To take advantage of this discount, guests must book before October 24 for a midweek stay between Oct. 20 and Dec. 18.
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Located adjacent to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick within the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community’s Talking Stick Entertainment District, the resort already has families across the valley buzzing with excitement. Given the Lodge’s location and close proximity to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Johnson said the Lodge could be a destination during Spring Training. “We know that this could be the place people want to go for Spring Training, families can come in and enjoy the waterpark all day and walk to Salt River Fields and enjoy a game.”
“The Talking Stick Entertainment District has become a flourishing destination over the past several years and we pride ourselves on being a destination of firsts,” said Michael Dallas, tribal councilmember, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
“The addition of the Great Wolf Lodge will strengthen the Salt River Indian Community, positioned as a premier Valley destination and a leader in hospitality, helping us to tell our story of perseverance and visionary planning,” Dallas said. “As a tribal community, we are proud to support tourism, economic development in the state and are equally as proud to bring employment opportunities to the area. To have Great Wolf Lodge here is a blessing, we welcome Great Wolf Lodge and thank them for the partnership moving forward.”
The 85,000-square-foot indoor water park with slides and water features for every age coupled with the 27,000-square-foot Great Wolf Adventure Park with a family-friendly attractions such as a ropes course, miniature golf and family bowling are sure to keep the fun going morning through night.
“Great Wolf Lodge Arizona is family paradise with a wealth of activities for every age and interest,” added General Manager Brian Johnson. “Climate-controlled to a comfortable 84-degrees, our waterpark will be the perfect place to beat the desert heat, or chilly winter weather. With everything under one roof, family fun can be found in every corner of the resort – whether that’s sinking a hole-in-one at mini-golf, scaling new heights on the Howlers Peak ropes course, saving a pixie playing MagiQuest or enjoying a scoop at the state’s only Ben & Jerry’s.”
Highlights of Great Wolf Lodge Arizona include:
The centerpiece of the resort is the indoor water park – climate controlled to an ideal 84 degrees year-round and featuring 13 water slides, a wave pool, lazy river and other water-fun attractions for children of all ages. A first-of-its-kind slide, Diamondback Drop makes its debut at Great Wolf Lodge Arizona. The four-person, high-speed raft ride is filled with serpentine curves and high-bank thrills, where riders drop into an overlapping 360-degree coil before plunging into the belly of the snake.
Talking Stick Treehouse is Great Wolf Lodge Arizona’s signature, multi-level water play structure featuring suspension bridges, slides, spray stations and other water elements. Atop Talking Stick Treehouse sits a massive, 1,000 gallon tipping bucket that pours out every three to four minutes, to the glee of the guests waiting below. Attached to the play structure are five water slides, two that originate from the top of the structure for more adventurous young ones and three at a lower-level for more of the toddler set.
Additional signature water rides and attractions include Crooked Creek, a winding lazy river; Slap Tail Pond, a gigantic wave pool with waves reaching up to three feet in height; and exciting slides like River Canyon Run, a family raft ride, and Wolf Tail, a thrill-seeker’s dream where a floor drops out from underneath the rider and they’re taken down a nearly vertical 20-foot free fall. The water park also includes plenty of attractions for young guests with a dedicated zero depth toddler pool filled with age-appropriate slides and water features.
Great Wolf Lodge Arizona also features an oversized resort-style outdoor pool so families can take advantage of the favorable weather.
Admission to the indoor water park is exclusive to resort guests and included as part of each overnight stay, providing a great value to families seeking the perfect place to enjoy quality time together.
ADVENTURE PARK & KIDS ACTIVITIES
The adventure doesn’t end once resort guests dry off. Great Wolf Lodge Arizona has dozens of weatherproof, year-round activities and entertainment offerings throughout the resort. The Great Wolf Adventure Park houses several attractions, including the Rustic Ridge Rock Wall and Howlers Peak Ropes Course, where guests embark on an invigorating, multi-level climbing challenge. Guests can also explore an interactive mining experience and search for keepsake gemstones at Oliver’s Mining Co.; bowl a strike at Ten Paw Alley; challenge the family to a match at Howl in One Miniature Golf Course; or explore a variety of games at the Northern Lights Arcade.
Additional activities include MagiQuest, the brand’s exclusive live-action adventure game where players follow clues and use interactive magic wands to discover relics and runes needed to assist pixies and defeat a fierce dragon.
Daily children’s activities can be found in the Grand Lobby including Yoga Tails, a fun and creative yoga class, and evening Story Time by the fireplace – a Great Wolf Lodge family tradition. Children also enjoy the chance to meet and greet with their favorite Great Wolf Kids characters, including Wiley the Wolf, several times daily. The lobby is also home to the Northwoods Friends Show, an innovative animated projection show that uses three-dimensional projection mapping technology to transport children into the world of the Great Wolf Kids characters.
Great Wolf Lodge Arizona offers nine distinct dining experiences throughout the resort to appeal to every age and palate, ensuring guests will never be more than a few feet away from a delicious meal, snack, or treat.
Highlights of the dining options at Great Wolf Lodge Arizona include Barnwood, featuring a locally inspired seasonal menu and craft cocktails in a rustic-themed setting; Campfire Kitchen, an interactive a la carte café for breakfast and dinner located inside the resort’s Adventure Park; and Hungry as a Wolf with made-to-order handcrafted pizzas, wings, pastas and fresh salads. The resort also includes Dunkin’ Donuts and the state’s only Ben & Jerry’s.
Timbers offers Southwest fare such as signature nachos, soups, salads and a la carte street tacos as well as signature margaritas on tap, Mexican beers and Coke, and specialty sweets such as churros and horchata.
For guests with food allergies, all kitchen facilities at Great Wolf Lodge are peanut and tree nut free. The culinary team at the resort are extremely well-versed in common food allergies and dietary restrictions, and can accommodate guests’ needs as necessary. Guests who wish to discuss their dietary needs prior to their stay are encouraged to email the culinary team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great Wolf Lodge Arizona features 350 suites designed to accommodate families and groups of all sizes with a cozy respite after a fun day of water park play. Families can choose from eight suite styles, including the kid-focused Wolf Den and KidCabin suites that will leave pups howling for bedtime, complete with bunk beds and Great Wolf Kids character theming. Premium suites offer one or two bedrooms with additional bathrooms for larger families or friends traveling together. All suites come equipped with an in-room refrigerator and coffee maker.
Great Wolf Lodge Arizona features more than 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting and events space and six separate meeting rooms accommodating 20 to 425 attendees. The meeting space will pay homage to the Akimel O’odham and the Xalychidom Piipaash tribes. Groups and meetings enjoy built-in audio and video technology, customizable catering options, and a world-class team of industry professionals to assist with any meeting needs.
For more information about Great Wolf Lodge Arizona or to make a reservation using the special grand opening discount, guests can visit greatwolf.com/Arizona