Indoor water park resort could come to S. Florida
Great Wolf Lodge considering a Pompano Beach location
Great Wolf Lodge, a nationally known chain of indoor water park resorts, is considering opening its first spot in Florida — and one of the possibilities is Pompano Beach.
A Broward County spokesman said there has been “discussion” of a Great Wolf Lodge to be built at the site of the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park on the east side of Powerline Road, known for its casino and horse racing.
Attractions such as Great Wolf Lodge — which offers hotels with indoor and heated water slides, wave pools and other water park attractions — have grown in popularity. Increasingly across the country, casino operators build or partner with nearby amenities to attract gamblers to stay days — not hours. Another Great Wolf Lodge is expected to be built at a casino site in Maryland.
There are 17 Great Wolf lodges in the U.S., and one in Canada, with two more being constructed or planned in Arizona and California; Pompano Beach would be the first location in Florida.
Jason Lasecki, Great Wolf Lodge spokesman, would not confirm a potential opening in Pompano Beach, but said South Florida has long been on the company’s radar for expansion. He named six of Florida’s counties — including Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade as possibilities.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to expand the Great Wolf Lodge resort experience to new audiences and see potential for a Great Wolf Lodge resort in Florida,” he said. “There are a large number of family-friendly metropolitan areas across Florida that could be a good fit for a future Great Wolf Lodge, but the area we’ve recently been exploring is the South Florida area.”
Guests must stay at the resort to access the water park. But people don’t need to stay on site to access the restaurant, or other attractions, which usually include a ropes course and mini-
Great Wolf Lodge’s typical starting rates are $199 per night. That includes an unlimited-entry pass to the water park during a stay. The rates may vary based on the resort location and time of year.
In Pompano Beach, there has been a site earmarked for development.
The proposal calls for hundreds of hotel rooms, and hundreds more condos or apartments in buildings that could top eight stories, as well as office space. It has not yet been scheduled for the County Commission to hear it.
A site plan has not been submitted yet to Pompano Beach City Hall, but city officials say it will be a mammoth venture.
“It will be a very exciting project for the future of Pompano Beach,” said Mayor Rex Hardin.
Phil Cooper, the spokesman for Pompano Park land owner, Eldorado Resorts Inc. of Reno, Nevada, said the company declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for The Cordish Cos., the developer for the Pompano project, which also built the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, could not be reached for comment by phone or email.
The companies announced in April a partner- ship to bring “a new worldclass, mixed-use entertainment and hospitality destination in Pompano” that would include “new upscale retail, dining, and entertainment to South Florida” on the 223-acre site.
There is no large comme rc i a l wa t e r p a r k i n Broward County.
Rapids Water Park, a 30-acre attraction in Palm Beach County, is South Florida’s largest, but is 50 miles north of Fort Lauderdale in Riviera Beach. A plan to bring a Wet ’n’ Wild to Fort Lauderdale near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport failed last fall.
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Great Wolf Lodge, a national chain of indoor water parks, said it is considering an expansion into Florida.