Great Wolf Lodge, Part 2

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Great Wolf Lodge Customer Perception

Customer perceptions of Great Wolf Lodge appears to be positive in general, with guests specifically highlighting the fun-factor of the experience as a significant contributor to their overall perception. Across the 17 Great Wolf Lodge locations in the U.S., they have received a total rating of 4.34/5 on Google Reviews, which is classified as "very good" by their own metrics. A detailed overview of customers' perceptions and sentiments on the Great Wolf Lodge as well as calculations to back our findings up have been provided in the following report.

Google Reviews — Great Wolf Lodge Locations

  • Great Wolf Lodge has a total of 17 locations spread across the United States. The locations are as follows:
  • Grand Mound: 4.3/5 stars out of 8,682 reviews.
  • Southern California: 4.5/5 stars out of 7,493 reviews.
  • Colorado Springs: 4.3/5 stars out of 4,560 reviews.
  • Scottsdale, Arizona: 4.3/5 stars out of 803 reviews.
  • Traverse City: 4.4/5 stars out of 4,369 reviews.
  • Wisconsin Dells: 4.3/5 stars out of 4,882 reviews.
  • Fitchburg: 4.3/5 stars out of 5,932 reviews.
  • Kansas City: 4.3/5 stars out of 4,214 reviews.
  • Sandusky: 4.4/5 stars out of 4,723 reviews.
  • Pocono Mountains: 4.4/5 stars out of 7,513 reviews.
  • Mason: 4.4/5 stars out of 6,511 reviews.
  • Minnesota: 4.1/5 stars out of 3,704 reviews.
  • Williamsburg: 4.3/5 stars out of 6,259 reviews.
  • Illinois: 4.2/5 stars out of 3,867 reviews.
  • Concord: 4.5/5 stars out of 6,275 reviews.
  • Georgia: 4.5/5 stars out of 3,637 reviews.
  • Grapevine: 4.3/5 stars out of 8,205 reviews.
  • The average rating customers have given Great Wolf Lodge is 4.34/5 in total.

Customer Sentiments

  • A common phrase visitors use when describing their experience at Great Wolf Lodge is, "a lot of fun." A substantial amount of reviews by customers specifically lauded the fun aspect of the trip as one of their highlights of the overall experience as well as the environment being family-friendly.
  • Tara, one of the customers described her experience in detail, saying, "We have visited Great Wolf several times. Even after visiting other area water parks... our family agrees Great Wolf Lodge is the best! A lot of fun and good food!" This sentiment seems to resonate with several other visitors as well, with a significant majority sharing the same perceptions.
  • Guests also held the offerings of Great Wolf Lodge such as the amenities, food, water park, and the room in high regard.
  • Positive customer feedback and perception has allowed Great Wolf Lodge to lean on its brand recognition to strategically expand its presence into more locations within the U.S.
  • In terms of location, cleanliness, service, and value, customers have generally placed value as the lowest rated of the four options available. Many of the reviewers mentioned that while they enjoyed the overall experience, they were critical of the high prices.
  • There has even been a lot of chatter online by customers/potential customers whether Great Wolf Lodge is worth the price, especially with regard to the upcoming location set to open in Manteca.

Research Strategy

Great Wolf Lodge officially has a total of 18 locations in the U.S. according to its official web page. However, the location in Manteca in Northern California is still under construction and is scheduled to officially open later this year. While there have already been a few reviews on Google Reviews on the Manteca location, we opted not to include this as part of our calculations as it has not been officially opened yet. To ensure the utmost accuracy as well as minimizing bias, we opted to obtain our data from crowdsourced review websites unaffiliated with Great Wolf Lodge such as Google Reviews. Through combination of this strategy and the extensive research we've exerted, this has allowed us to have a good understanding of what customers, in general, feel about Great Wolf Lodge both location-wise and as a whole. Our reasoning for leveraging Google Reviews to obtain the star ratings is because of the fact that websites such as TripAdvisor allows for businesses to use tools to encourage and collect guest reviews, which may open up the possibility that the review could be biased. We were careful in undertaking measures to ensure that the reviews we have selected have no indication of bias to provide an accurate perception by customers on Great Wolf Lodge. We searched for common themes, by using keywords, to see what customers have been saying about their experience with Great Wolf Lodge. We then corroborated our findings with other trusted review websites to see if we could establish a pattern in terms of customer experience and thus provide an accurate finding of customer perception of Great Wolf Lodge. We then synthesized the information we came across and produced the report as shown above.


To calculate the average star rating given by customers taken from all 18 Great Wolf Lodge locations in the United States:
  • Star ratings: (4.3 + 4.5+ 4.3 + 4.3 + 4.4 + 4.3 + 4.3 + 4.3 + 4.4 + 4.4 + 4.4 + 4.1 + 4.3 + 4.2 + 4.5 + 4.5 + 4.3) = 73.8
  • Number of locations in the U.S. = 17.
  • Average star rating: 77.4 ÷ 17 = 4.34.
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Resort Transformation

Jellystone Park Camp Resort, Frontier Town and Kalahari Resorts are examples of resorts which expanded their entertainment offerings. These and other findings are outlined below.

Jellystone Park Camp Resort

Frontier Town RV Resort

Kalahari Resorts


From Part 02
  • " The new Bear Paw Beach and Adventure Island expansion at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort is finding success even in its early days, and the campground operators are already thinking of ways to expand upon the experience in the future."
  • "The expansion — a 5-acre man-made beach with 87,000 square feet of water, an inflatable obstacle course cabana rentals and beach chairs — opened in June after just under a year of work. Also added are about 35 new cabins in the area immediately surrounding, with the total planned to reach 50 when all is said and done."
  • "Hundreds of guests at peak At peak times on Saturdays, Bear Paw Beach has seen as many as 500 people at once, Bender said, adding that even at that capacity it does not feel crowded because there is room to sit on the beach, swim, go on the obstacle course and play on a newly installed playground. "
  • "That the expansion is seeing early success did not come at a surprise, Bender said, but the campground was not necessarily expecting it to be such a huge hit."
  • "In a few weeks, the camping resort is set to open the first phase of its planned expansion in the form of Bear Paw Beach and Adventure Island."
  • " The initial offerings include a beach, 87,000 square feet of water with a floating obstacle course and 20 new cabins; the park is shooting for a June 28 opening, according to Jellystone co-owner and general manager Bridget Bender."
  • "Connected to the parking lot is a building with a 2,500-square-foot banquet hall with seating for up to 225 people, concession stand, catering kitchen and gift shop. The building will be open with the beach for the first phase, Bender said."
  • "Future phases are set to add 100 campsites and 30 additional cabins, Bender said."
  • "In 1970, the water park was born and amenity improvements carried the theme park until the early 1990s, when a Nor'easter destroyed much of the campground, according to the website."
  • "The campground was rebuilt and continued to add features such as Pony Island Arcade and Gifts and the Pony Espresso and Creamery, until the sale last year."
  • "The intention of the rezoning, according to attorney Hugh Cropper, is to expand the existing campground at Frontier Town. A side effect of the rezoning, Cropper maintained, is that the property will be protected from heavier commercial development."
  • "Harold "Deck" Decker would agree. He has been the general manager for 16 years at Frontier Town. From the last week of June through the end of August, the campground is "virtually sold out," he said."
  • "Hence, the plans for expansion. Worcester County recently passed a zoning change that will allow the campground to transform 36 acres of land into more campsites. The area consists of horse stables and a plot of forest."
  • "Since then, the 200-acre resort’s calling card has been its Wild West shows. Inside the campground's 20-acre "town," tourists stroll past kitschy versions of a barbershop, general store, bank and a "Twin Cheeks” bath house. A rodeo on the outskirts provides further diversion."
  • "For years, Frontier Town exclusively hosted seasonal campers — people who rented sites for the entire camping season. But that all changed after a 1992 nor'easter ravaged the campground, and that generation of campers decamped for good, Decker said."
  • "The Worcester County Commissioners delayed a decision on a request for additional sewer capacity from Frontier Town."
  • "Commissioner Ted Elder said that an increased number of campsites at Frontier Town could lead to more congestion in the already busy area. “If we keep expanding there we’re going to create a lot more problems,” he said, making a motion to deny the request."
  • "Elder said that if the county let Frontier Town purchase more EDUs there wouldn’t be enough sewer capacity left for other properties. “You have to hold some of these (EDUs) ready for these people that are actually going to need them,” he said."
  • "“They’re a great sewer customer because when you have disposal problems in the harsh of the winter they’re closed,” he said. “They’re a good citizen in Worcester County. They also have Castaways where they did the exact same thing, a successful partnership where a drain field was taken out."
  • "Kalahari Resorts, home to one of America’s most successful family-owned indoor water parks, has begun planning and development on a proposed expansion in the Pocono Mountains – a $350 million, 150-acre complex in Monroe County at Pocono Manor, tentatively scheduled to open in late 2014 or early 2015."
  • " The first phase includes a resort with 450 luxury guest rooms and suites, a 100,0000-square-foot indoor water park, a two-acre outdoor water park, a 65,000-square-foot convention center, a 30,000-square-foot indoor theme park/arcade and 6,000 square feet of retail space including two full-service restaurants."
  • "“Our goal in the Pocono Mountains is to build on the success of our Midwest locations by providing regional tourists with a world-class destination for families and unmatched convention facilities for business groups,” says Todd Nelson, Owner and President of Kalahari Resorts. “...As we look to expand in the Pocono Mountains and contribute to the local economy, we want to extend a long-lasting welcome to area residents, visiting tourists and business travelers.”"
  • "The Kalahari development team is talking with local officials about a possible Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan to help advance the new development and pay for infrastructure including gas, sewer, water and street improvements. The TIF is paid for by the real estate taxes assessed on the value of the Kalahari project."
  • "While additional details of the proposed Kalahari Poconos expansion are currently pending, Nelson continues to personally lead ongoing development discussions with local government officials, planning commissioners, and tourism officials. A key priority of these discussions is the assessment of systems and processes for the Kalahari development to help ensure a positive impact on the community’s natural resources, including the local waterway"
  • "Following the great success of its 110,000-sq. ft. waterpark and resort expansion in 2015, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania set out to complete Phase II of its redevelopment project with OpenAire. Kalahari had first chosen OpenAire to design and build an expansive retractable skylight for Phase I of the park’s expansion based on the company’s reputation for building spectacular, large-span retractable roofs. "
  • "The Pocono Mountains have always been a popular escape for individuals and families on the East Coast. Lately, however, the Poconos has been courting a new audience: meeting and convention groups."
  • " To make the destination even more attractive to them, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions has embarked on a major expansion of its Pocono Mountains convention center, it announced this week."