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500-room water park resort will have been finished for a year when guests finally start splashing around
A family gets drenched at a Great Wolf Resort

Great Wolf is no longer opening March 23.

The fifth— and likely final — postponement of the much anticipated christening of the 500-room indoor water park resort as a major Northern California attraction has been pushed back to June 15.

That means the largest hotel ever built in the Great Central Valley that could spur the development of an adjoining family entertainment zone with a regional pull will open essentially a year after it was completed.

The fifth delay of the opening came as Gov. Gavin Newsom allowed Disneyland and Major League Baseball stadiums to reopen April 1 with limited attendance and social protocols in place.

The decision to wait until later to debut its $180 million resort will likely allow it to offer more of — or the complete — Great Wolf experience when families do step through the doors.

Restrictions that California had in place would have made dining less than optimal and would have made it next to impossible for use of a large swath of its family entertainment that includes climbing apparatus and such.

Great Wolf also has the additional challenge of training a staff of 500 plus to make sure the optimum experience and service is available to guests.

That helps explain why Great Wolf is reopening its Anaheim/Garden Grove location almost a month earlier on May 22 despite it being located in the Los Angeles Basin that has been much harder hit by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.  

Other Great Wolf resorts in the West in Arizona, Colorado, and Washington are open and operating.

 Five of the nine suite options for the June 15 Manteca opening have already been sold out.

Great Wolf’s policy allows those who have already booked reservations to change them without being charged.

Based on previous rebookings after the four earlier postponements rooms have filled up faster than before with this week’s change of the opening date. It might reflect built up cabin fever due to the pandemic or the fact the Manteca resort is now opening at the start of the traditionally heaviest vacation season.

A family suite that accommodates up to six is available on opening day for $369.99 or $100 below the regular charge. The Deluxe Wolf Den theme room for up to 12 is $569.99 with no discount offered. The Grizzly Bear Suite that can sleep eight is available for $519.99 on opening reflecting a $250 discount. The Deluxe Kid Cabin Suite with a private bedroom with two queen beds and an in suite log cabin that can accommodate up to 11 is the most expensive room at the resort. It is $669.99 as opposed to its regular price of $969.99.

All rooms provide occupants with waterpark access for two days.

Rates will increase as bookings do. The rates were on the website as of Friday at 10 p.m. The rates also vary based on the day of the week and time of year.

The original opening date of Aug. 1, 2020 was pushed ahead to July 1 due to construction being ahead of schedule. That announcement was made in March some 11 days before Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide health emergency. That was when the July 1 opening was announced that was then pushed back to Sept. 1

 Due to COVID-19 restrictions Great Wolf opted not to open Sept. 1. The opening date was the moved to Oct. 25. The date was pushed back again to Dec. 17 and then March 23. The resort is now set to open five days before the start of summer.

Had Great Wolf opened as planned July 1, 2020 the city could have received in excess of $1 million in room taxes that would have gone to the general fund and not to the resort for the next fiscal year starting July 1 that would have helped ease the pain somewhat of the projected $6 million hit general fund revenues are expected to take due to COVID-19 protocols that have severely impacted business which in turn hurts sales tax and hotel tax receipts.

The city wasn’t out any expenses due to the resort not opening. At the same time it will collect property taxes in excess of $220,000 for the year Great Wolf has sat empty.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email