Great Wolf Lodge completes $40 million renovation of Grand Mound resort


Great Wolf Lodge, the popular indoor water park resort in Grand Mound, completed a sweeping $40 million renovation, the largest in the Centralia-area resort's 16-year history. General Manager John Taffin and members of the Chehalis Tribe celebrated the renovations with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning.

Taffin said in an email that he hopes the renovations will drive economic growth for the surrounding area, including the tribe, which is joint owner of the property.

"I find that the Great Wolf Lodge embodies our commitment to hospitality, community, and cultural preservation, offering families a haven where tradition meets adventure," Chehalis Tribe Chairman Dustin Klatush said via email.

The mountain cabin-themed resort, which includes an indoor water park and arcade, opened its doors in 2008. Nearly two decades on, the resort was due for a makeover, its management said. Most work was focused on upgrading dining and entertainment offerings, and refreshing the indoor water park that has become synonymous with its family fun-focused brand.

Great Wolf Lodge hopes to entice families with seven newly-built, cave-themed rooms complete with bunk beds and a skylight (starting at $239/night). The resort's existing 400 rooms were also made over during the two-year renovation with new furniture, mattresses and flooring.

In the lobby, visitors can also catch a new nightly show, "Legend of Luna," which features visual effects and artificial snow. Longtime fans will also notice updates to the resort's live action MagiQuest scavenger hunt game, and the expanded arcade.

The resort renovated parts of its indoor water park, a year-round attraction that maintains a balmy 84 degrees regardless of rain or snow. While main attractions like the six-story Howlin' Tornado slide were left untouched, visitors will find updated changing rooms and refreshed play areas for younger children.

Two new sit-down restaurants join the culinary lineup: the Timbers Table & Kitchen buffet and Fireside, which offers a more upscale dining experience. For quick bites, chains like Fatburger, Buffalo's Express and Hot Dog on a Stick complement existing casual eateries. New shopping options include a revamped gift shop, Build-A-Bear Workshop and candy store.

The lodge's nearly 20,000-square-foot conference center, Thurston County's largest, also received a face-lift, including new flooring, paint and decor.

The renovation comes amid significant property development investment by the resort's parent company, Great Wolf Resort. Three new locations in Florida, Texas and Connecticut are scheduled to open by 2025, adding to a portfolio of 20 resorts across the U.S. and Canada.

Great Wolf Lodge's Grand Mound location is one of three on the West Coast, including resorts in Garden Grove and Manteca, Calif. Many of the chain's older lodges are undergoing similar remodels, company representatives said.

Stakeholders hope the renovations will keep the crowds of rained-out Pacific Northwesterners coming back. The resort estimates that it has drawn as much as 60% of its clientele from Seattle since the Grand Mound location opened in 2008. This year, the resort has seen about 50,000 visitors per month, over half of which were children.


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