Great Wolf Lodge broke ground Friday morning to mark the start of construction on its latest water park and family entertainment center in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community near Scottsdale.  

Video by Jesse A. Millard

The Wisconsin-based company will start development immediately. The 85,000-square-foot water park and 27,000-square-foot family entertainment center will be located in the 18-acre lot adjacent to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s (SRPMIC) Talking Stick Entertainment District also contains a Top Golf, the Salt River fields, and many other attractions that will supplement the 350-room hotel and water park. 

The resort will be the company’s 18th North American property and its first in Arizona. Great Wolf Lodge opened its first location in 1997 in the renowned Wisconsin Dells area, also known as the water park capital of the world.  

The majority of Great Wolf Lodge properties lie east of the Mississippi River with the exceptions of Grapevine, TX, Garden City, CA, Grand Mound, WA, Colorado Springs, CO and now Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Great Wolf Lodge
The Great Wolf Lodge will include a 350-room hotel and a water park.

“We are honored to welcome Great Wolf Lodge to the community,” President of the SRPMIC Delbert Ray Sr. said. 

“This is not only a great day because it’s a beautiful day,” said Great Wolf Resorts Chief Development Officer Greg Miller, “but it’s a great day for Great Wolf Lodge, Scottsdale and the SRPMIC.” 

Ray tapped several other guests who were among the spectators. Mortenson Construction will be tasked with building the facility. Mortenson has experience in hotel construction. They are responsible for the new Hampton Inn and Suites in downtown Phoenix. Devan Porter from Gensler Architects, the company in charge of design, also spoke. He mentioned, “Even when I show my 16-year-old the design, he says ‘wow Dad, that’s cool. Nice job!’” 

The resort will also offer several dining options, family friendly suites in a variety of styles including KidCabin suites and nearly 6,500 square feet of conference space. Great Wolf Resorts anticipates the completion of the project in late 2019.