Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee announced Thursday that the resort and indoor water park will open with new health protocols.
The 414-room resort will open its doors to the public on Aug. 24 with heightened safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Illinois.
"We have been working to develop and implement comprehensive reopening plans based on guidance and protocols recommended by the government and CDC, and we’re excited to get families back to having fun with confidence because of the new safeguards we put into place across our resorts,” Murray Hennessy, CEO for Great Wolf Resorts, said.
Hennessy said that during the resort's closure, staff heard from a number of families saying they were waiting for Great Wolf Lodge to open as an escape amid the pandemic.
The company also announced the introduction of the new Paw Pledge program, an initiative to keep families healthy and safe while playing in the indoor water park.
Some reopening health measures include:
- Resort staff will sanitize all frequently touched surfaces in the water park, attraction areas, restaurants and all other public spaces continually using hospital-grade disinfectants.
- Staff will disinfect all guest rooms prior to check-in, with room attendants paying special attention to high touchpoint areas such as door handles, light switches, in-room phone, thermostats and television remotes.
- Occupancy levels will initially be at Great 50% or less to provide space so families can easily navigate the resort and water park with a minimum of six-feet of separation from those outside of their traveling party.
- Markers will be placed in queues for water slides, attractions, retail shops, food outlets and front desk measuring six-feet of distance between guests.
- Staff will provide guests with personal protection amenities for its guests such as disinfectant wipes, sanitizer and face coverings. Guests can request a complimentary mask at the front desk.
- The Great Wolf Lodge will install plexiglass barriers for separation where a slightly longer interaction between pack members and guests is expected, and where social distancing may be a challenge.
- The resort will implement additional contactless payment options at the resort.
- Food outlets will offer remote ordering with pick-up options so guests can enjoy their meals in the comfort of their rooms.
- All staff will undergo a wellness and temperature check before reporting to work. Anyone presenting a fever, having recent ailments or indicating a possible exposure to COVID-19 will be sent home.
- Staff will be required to wear a mask in situations where maintaining social distancing may be difficult.
The press release announcing the reopening cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying “there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds” and that “proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection of pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds should inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”
The company said their filtration and chemistry system used at the water parks is considered industry leading.