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.

The Hoxton, Portland officially opened its doors on November 12. The much anticipated opening was the second U.S location for the Hoxton brand. The Hoxton, based in London is planning two additional openings in the United States later in 2019—The Hoxton Chicago and The Hoxton Downtown L.A. The Hoxton Portland, located in historic Old Town Chinatown in a building dating back to 1906, features 119 rooms and three restaurants including a cocktail bar.

 

The Rose Hotel Chicago O’Hare, Tapestry Collection by Hilton officially opened this holiday season on November 15 while honoring veteran Elizabeth O’Byrne in conjunction with Veterans Day. O’Byrne and her family received the first guest special experience at the hotel’s grand opening event.

 

Have you purchased your tickets to the October 17 party for the 2018 Best of Northwest Meetings + Events readers’ choice awards? Tickets are $20 but if you plan on attending the Northwest Event Show the day before — making it a two-day industry extravaganza — enter the code #NWEVENTSHOW to save 50%!

The 2018 Best of Northwest Meetings + Events readers’ choice awards will be held:
Wednesday, October 17
6-8:30 p.m.
King Street Ballroom & Perch
255 South King Street
Seattle, WA 98104