Howl about it: Great Wolf sets open date

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, October 26, 2017

The countdown has begun.

Great Wolf Lodge announced it will open its doors to the public on May 31 during a hard hat tour on Thursday. The resort will feature 457 guest suites and nearly 500,000 square feet of entertainment space and amenities.

“Our purpose is to bring joy and families all together,” said Ruben Rodriguez, the chief executive officer for Great Wolf Resorts. “We work to provide literally thousands of opportunities every day for families to play together and stay together. Our lodges are designed to really create a community of pack members and families celebrating life all together. We are very excited to be extending that purpose to Georgia.”

The LaGrange location will include a 100,000 square foot indoor water park with slides, a lazy river, wave pool, zero depth entry pools, kid play areas and a multi-level interactive fort treehouse. While many of Great Wolf’s amenities have children in mind, the resort chain is also beginning to focus on parents. Updated décor and features will debut in the Georgia before anywhere else in the country.

“In many ways, Great Wolf Lodge of Georgia is the next official step in designing the next generation of Great Wolf,” Rodriguez said. “It is designed to not only bring great joy to kids but to parents — to the adult members of the family.”

While features like mini golf, a ropes course and mini bowling are sure to keep children visiting the resort entertained, parents will receive more attention in this resort’s plan then they have in the past.

“One distinguishing feature of Great Wolf Lodge Georgia is that it is designed to provide joy to the parents as well,” Rodriguez said. “It is their vacation too, isn’t it?”

Those adult-centric features will include an adult only swim area, a bar and a restaurant featuring locally sourced ingredients, and locals will have access to the amenities outside the water recreation area like the restaurants.

“We are looking forward to being part of the community and helping out some of these local farmers down here,” said Chris Hammond, the director of food and beverages. “It is an exciting opportunity for us, and we are looking to showcase all things Georgia.”

Locally grown can mean different things depending on who you ask, but for Barnwood’s menu, Hammond expects most of the food to be from within a 100-mile radius of the resort, with only a few ingredients like shrimp coming from further away.

“For this restaurant specifically, if it is not really sourced locally it is not on the menu, so if we can’t get green tomatoes at X time of year, we just won’t use it,” Hammond said. “We’ll take them off the menu.”

According to Hammond, the Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado has a restaurant that runs on a similar system that changes its menu as often as 12 times a year in order to maintain its farm to table menu. Farmers won’t be the only ones to benefit from the new resort though.

“This represents an investment of about $170 million,” LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton said. “That is a big deal. It also represents jobs because here at Great Wolf at the site of the resort, of the hotel, the conference center. There will be hundreds of hospitality sector jobs created, many of which we hope will be filled by our local residents here in LaGrange.”

Thornton highlighted the importance of economic diversity in the area.

“It also will be a tourism amenity for our community,” Thornton said. “As I have indicated, historically we have done an exceptional job of attracting industrial and manufacturing jobs, but this diversifies our economy and provides additional jobs for our citizens.”

Great Wolf Resorts currently has more than 6,000 staff members and is expected to have a total of 17 locations by the end of summer 2018, according to Rodriguez. Georgia’s resort will be one of the most advanced locations in the chain.

“We’re another step closer to opening Great Wolf Lodge Georgia, a resort that will bring joy to families across the Southeast with our unique brand of year-round family entertainment,” said Keith Furnas, the resort’s general manager.

The resort is already taking reservations, and guests who reserve a room now through December 31 can receive up to a 30 percent discount by using the promo code, GRAND.

For more information or to make a reservation, call 1-888-960-WOLF or visit The resort will be located at 150 Tom Hall Parkway in LaGrange.