Great Wolf off to great start

Published 9:31 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2018

It was encouraging to hear about the early success of Great Wolf Lodge Wednesday at a special chamber breakfast held in the lodge’s conference center.

The lodge has already had around 25,000 “room nights” in its two months of operations, according to General Manager Keith Furnas. When you figure that, on average, multiple people are in each room, it’s easy to see how Great Wolf has already attracted thousands upon thousands of people to Troup County.

Business is likely to slow down in the fall when kids start back to school, but it’s good to hear that Great Wolf is already off on the right foot.

To be fair, it’s a good thing any time any new business gets off to a great start. The new pizza restaurant Your Pie downtown is an example of another business that recently opened that — and at least based on the crowds we’ve seen — appears to be off to a stellar start as well. Wild Leap Brew Co., now 10 months in, is another example.

But Great Wolf is unique because of what it could and will mean for the future of this area. The lodge has gone out of its way to show that it plans to be a community partner, but the longterm question remains whether visitors leave the one-stop-shop lodge and venture into downtown on a regular basis.

If they do, the businesses in the heart of LaGrange will be the beneficiaries. Even if most visitors don’t, the added sales tax and hotel tax will benefit LaGrange and Troup County as a whole.

The lodge is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people to Troup County each year, and it sounds like it’s already on pace to do so.