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People discover how Great Wolf peak pricing works
GW room
This is the family suite — the lowest priced room available at any given time at Great Wolf’s Manteca resorts.

It’s the same room but on one day it costs $199.99 and on another day it costs $1,049.99.

That’s what you will find when you get deep into the woods of booking a room at the $180 million, 500-room Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark  that opened this week in Manteca.

More than a few people trying to book a room at Great Wolf later this month — or to take advantage of a 30 percent discount — were more than frustrated by the resort’s booking system.

First and foremost no less than six people indicated when they tried to access a 30 percent discount off standard room rates that Great Wolf offered on their website as well as through press releases distributed to traditional and social media, the call center personnel they were in contact with had no idea of a special grand opening offer.

Those that used the promotional code “GRAND” that was on the website but has since been taken down or “NOWOPEN” that was distributed through press releases were able to access the discount when booking 100 percent on line.

Those trying to book rooms via phone were never told they could access the discount online or even knew it was being offered “before July 2” which meant the offer ended July 1.

There were others under the misconception that “room rates starting as low as $199 per night” were available every night.

Several readers who contacted corporate contacted in Wisconsin were told the $ $199.99 rate — $139.99 under the offer — was in correct. That was true for the standard room only if you tried to book it on a day when standard rates or peak pricing was in effect.

Was Great Wolf misleading people?

Not exactly.

Great Wolf uses peak pricing just like Disneyland now employs.

That means on high demand day especially in the “on season” rates go up based on demand. Likewise, rates are discounted on days that there are traditional low occupancy such as midweek away from non-summer months and winter holidays.

The lowest priced room — a standard family suite with two queen beds as well as a living area with a full-size sofa sleeper — when booked for four people can cost as low as $199.99 per night.

But to get that rate you have to book mid-week in the fall. That rate of $199.99, as an example, was available as of Friday for a standard room booked for a Tuesday-Wednesday stay on Oct. 12-13. For a weekend stay for Saturday-Sunday on Oct. 23-24 it is $329.99 for the same room.

If you want to spend Christmas in a different way that same room is available currently Dec. 24-25 for a Friday-Saturday booking at $269.99 but if you opt for a Dec. 25-26 stay on Saturday-Sunday it is $319.99.

If you opt for New Year’s Eve-New Year’s Day you will be paying $369.99 for the same room.

But if you want one of the standard rooms on July 10-11 — a Friday and Saturday — you will have to pay $989.99.  And if you still want one at that price for that specific two-day stay you’d better hurry. As of 9 p.m. Thursday there or only two standard rooms left at that price.

 A reader who tried to book a standard room for four people on Wednesday for July 10-11 got a price of $1,049.99. Two days after and a week before the arrival date the room price dropped $60.

That reflects another aspect of peak pricing.

Besides setting prices higher on the days they know there will be a big demand, they will lower prices as the booking date draws near in a bid to have a higher occupancy. 

They are clearly not going to give the farm away so don’t expect deep discounts so they can fill every room.

Great Wolf also has a bottom line. You will not get that standard family suite — the lowest price point in the hotel — any lower than $199.99.

That’s true even if they have to settle for a lower occupancy than they want in mid-October.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email