The family-focused, Wisconsin-based Great Wolf Lodge opened its first resort in Wisconsin Dells in 1997. Over the next two decades, it slowly expanded with more properties around the Midwest, moving into the Northeast, South, West and Canada. And this summer, the greater Chicago area will get its first resort from the brand.

Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, slated to open July 1 in Gurnee, will include the hallmark giant waterpark, family-friendly dining options and woodsy décor. The property will also have 7,800 square feet of meeting space, 414 guest rooms (including 14 suite styles) and a separate entrance for meeting guests to avoid the waterpark. It’s the result of a $40 million makeover to the former Key Lime Cove property.

Though the waterpark plays second fiddle to meeting groups looking to get business done at the resort, it has a nice perk: Guests have access to the waterpark at 1 p.m. on the day of check-in, so they can arrive early or with families in tow to take advantage of the fun facilities.

Meeting planners can also get creative with events at Great Wolf Lodge. They can use the 38,000-square-foot adventure park for teambuilding, or rent it out for “waterpark after dark” cocktail hour.

“How often can you have a cocktail party with these elements available to you?” says General Manager Emilio Fabico, noting the Illinois property will also have a lazy river, the funnel-like Whitewater Whirl waterslides and the Wolf Rider, for daring guests only.

Another attraction of Great Wolf Lodge Illinois is the brand’s newly revamped F&B program, which includes the farm-to-fork restaurant Barnwood. Guests will find fresh dishes made with locally sourced ingredients alongside a craft cocktail menu, also available to meeting groups.

The property is holding a job fair for nearly 600 positions at College of Lake County in Grayslake this week through May 18 (details), and is accepting reservations starting July 1, 2018.

Stonebridge Companies, a privately owned, innovative hotel owner, operator and developer headquartered in Denver, has been awarded Marriott International’s Partnership Circle Award. This award is the highest honor granted to Marriott’s franchise partners; it recognizes those that exemplify Marriott’s vision, share a long-term business commitment, embrace brand initiatives, focus on associates to foster and manage an engaged workforce, invest in hotel product and deliver excellent customer service.

 

In Colorado, we are extremely fortunate to have 13 national and local member organizations affiliated with the meetings and events industry that team up to support two community service initiatives and deliver one annual conference through the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado. We have heard many times that this type of unification is truly unique and no other organization like it exists in the United States.

 

Imprint Events Group has joined forces with Alpine Access, a high-end boutique DMC with a strong reputation for serving the Colorado mountain resorts, to add  create a new Imprint Events Colorado Resorts division.