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.

From August 16-18 Denver, Colorado will be filled with creative, event-centered minds from all over the world. The International Live Events Association (ILEA)'s 2018 conference, ILEA Live, is offering live events professionals and event business owners an exclusive opportunity to focus on business strategies, creative output, inspiration and trends.

 

The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa has announced its official sale to Crescent Real Estate LLC (Crescent) of Fort Worth, Texas. Together with the hotel’s newly appointed luxury management team, HEI Hotels & Resorts, Crescent will drive what will be a new era for the iconic property. 

 

Welcoming a record of 17.4 million overnight visitors in 2017, Denver is becoming a popular meeting spot. According to a Longwoods International Annual Visitor Profile Study, this year alone, revenue from Denver’s tourism industry increased five percent from 2016 making it a desirable destination. With an increase in tourists come overnight business travelers as well. Visitors are attracted to Denver’s charm and entertainment opportunities.