New family resort coming to Talking Stick Entertainment District

A view of the groundbreaking of the future Great Wolf Lodge Arizona in the Talking Stick Entertainment District. (Submitted Photo)

Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., a family of indoor water park resorts, announced Friday, Jan. 19 it is expanding in Arizona with a planned 350-room family resort in the Talking Stick Entertainment District in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Great Wolf Lodge Arizona is scheduled to open the second half of 2019, becoming the company’s 18th resort in North America, according to a press release.

“As we look to expand the Great Wolf Lodge experience to new markets across North America and beyond, we are excited to place our newest resort in Arizona and provide visitors across the Southwest with a destination that brings immense joy to families,” Murray Hennessy, chief executive officer for Great Wolf Resorts, said in a prepared statement.

“The family-friendly environment fostered by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community makes Talking Stick the perfect location for a Great Wolf Lodge. We look forward to being a part of this community as it continues to grow into the Southwest’s premier family destination.”

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Great Wolf Resorts signed a long-term lease agreement that allows the company use of the land near Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for nearly a century, a release states.

“Hospitality has been a constant common value of our Community – from providing aid and shelter to settlers making their way westward, to welcoming tourists to our several award-winning hotel properties today,” Delbert Ray Sr., president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, said in a prepared statement.

“Tourism is a key economic driver for us, and we believe Great Wolf Lodge will give families another great reason to visit our Community, thus strengthening our economy as well as the East Valley region of Phoenix and the State of Arizona.”

Great Wolf Lodge Arizona will be a year-round family destination filled with attractions and amenities for all ages.

Some of the highlights include an 85,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, heated to 84 degrees and featuring a variety of body slides, tube slides, raft rides, activity pools and splash areas.

The attraction will also include a 27,000-square-foot family entertainment center known as the Great Wolf Adventure Park.

A rendering of the future Great Wolf Lodge Arizona. (Submitted Photo)

Here, families can scale new heights on a multi-level ropes course, play a round of miniature golf, compete for prizes at the arcade, or step into the fantasy world of MagiQuest — Great Wolf Lodge’s exclusive live-action adventure game where players use interactive magic wands to assist pixies and battle dragons and goblins.

There will be an animated show in the lobby called the Northwoods Friends show, which utilizes projection mapping technology on a moving, three-dimensional multi-plane surface to immerse children into the world of the Great Wolf Kids characters.

The attraction will also include a collection of complimentary family events and activities including Yoga Tails, a program that combines tales of the Northwoods creatures with yoga poses, and Great Wolf Lodge’s signature story time event, where children gather around the fireplace for a bedtime tale.

There will also be several dining options, including a collection of eateries inside the Great Wolf Adventure Park, a Dunkin’ Donuts and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream parlor. The resort will also feature Barnwood, a full-service farm-to-fork restaurant featuring dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.

Family-friendly suites in a variety of categories and styles will also be at the attraction. These suites include KidCabin suites with separate sleeping quarters for kids complete with bunk beds and Great Wolf Kids character theming, as well as multiple bedroom suites for large families or multi-generational groups.

Great Wolf Lodge Arizona offers an exceptional value for families with admission to the water park and much of the family entertainment activities in the Grand Lobby included as part of the guest’s stay.

Meeting and event planners can also look to Great Wolf Lodge Arizona for their meeting and event needs. The property will boast nearly 6,500 square feet of flexible conference space with breakout rooms, built-in A/V technology, customizable catering options and a team of dedicated industry professionals to tend to every meeting need.

Great Wolf Lodge Arizona will at the corner of Pima Road and Hummingbird Lane, adjacent to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

The lead architect for the project is Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm, and Mortenson, a U.S.-based, family-owned construction and real estate development company that will manage the overall construction of the resort.

Neuman Pools, a family-owned, design/build company of large scale water attractions, will oversee the construction of both the indoor water park and outdoor pool areas.

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