"We’re excited to get families back to having fun with confidence because of the new safeguards we put into place across our resorts.”

By Christine Burroni and Cailey Rizzo
June 16, 2020
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As its parks continue to reopen around the country, Great Wolf Lodge's Poconos location is welcoming families back this Friday with new protocols to keep visitors safe.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of our guests, pack members and community has long been our guiding principle at Great Wolf Lodge," Chief Executive Officer for Great Wolf Resorts, Murray Hennessy, said in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure. "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.”

Under the company's "Paw Pledge," the indoor waterpark has implemented disinfecting and sanitizing procedures around the hotel that will include disinfecting of guest rooms and frequently-touched surfaces in all public spaces. And, like many businesses around the world, families will see plenty of hand sanitizer stations. Masks will also be complimentary for guests who need them.

Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Once reopened, each lodge will only accommodate 50 percent of its regular capacity, to help visitors maintain easy social distancing. Six-foot distances will be marked on the floor at lines for water slides, attractions, and food vendors.

Tables and chairs have been staggered to maintain a social distance between groups. Visitors can use contactless payments, like their credit or debit cards or resort wristbands. And food outlets will offer pick-up options so guests can eat in their rooms.

All employees are required to undergo a wellness and temperature check before beginning their shift. They will also wear face masks and may interact with visitors from behind a plexiglass barrier, where necessary.

Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge's locations across the country have been welcoming "packs" back as the country has been gradually reopening. Their Arizona location welcomed back visitors last week while their Georgia and Grapevine, Texas locations reopened on Tuesday. By the end of June, nine locations will be open, a spokesperson for the park confirmed to T+L.

“During our closure we heard from countless families who said the destination they’re most looking forward to reopening is their local Great Wolf Lodge, and we’re elated because there is nothing more precious to us than providing a joy-filled escape for families,” Hennessy said.

As family vacations may look differently this summer to ensure an extra level of safety, Great Wolf Lodge noted that the CDC has said that, “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.”