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Great Wolf Lodge Coming Near Visalia?
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 years ago on
January 14, 2022

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A resort hotel could be coming to Tulare County.

Great Wolf Lodge — which opened a location in Manteca last year — could open in 2024 in the 127-acre Sequoia Gateway Center, at Caldwell Avenue and Highway 99, west of Visalia.

The Tulare County Planning Commission gave preliminary approvals for the project on Jan. 12.

Operating two resorts in California and 19 nationwide, Great Wolf Lodge focuses on family adventure. The facility is known for its waterslide park, its “MagiQuest” — a kid-friendly scavenger hunt-type game — indoor rope climbing, and dining options.

“We are currently evaluating the prospect of developing one of our signature indoor water park resorts for the Central California region.  We’re in early stage discussions with officials about a promising location in Tulare County, and appreciate that both the county and city of Visalia support this endeavor.  We look forward to continuing our discussions with officials as we further evaluate this opportunity,” GWL spokesman Jason Lasecki told GV Wire.

Stephen Peck, the Sequoia Gateway Center project manager, said the center has 35 acres waiting for Great Wolf Lodge.

“We’re designing the balance of the project around their use. I can’t say that we’re in contract or when they will close, but we’ve been working to bring them to the community. But I think they’re still in some phase of the due diligence. But we are going through the entitlements necessary to accommodate them on the site,” Peck said.

Sequoia Gateway Center will also feature retail and medical facilities. Valley Children’s Hospital plans to build a six-acre regional pediatric care center there.

Great Wolf Lodge could open around 2024 or 2025.

Spillover Benefits

County planning documents indicate the new GWL could be 700 rooms. The Manteca resort is about 500.

Even though GWL offers an all-inclusive resort — where guests don’t have to leave the hotel — Peck expects nearby hotels and restaurants to benefit.

“There are a lot of spillover benefits. It’s a big facility. If you stay at one of these facilities for two or three days, you also go in town and have a meal,” Peck said. “We looked at the market studies for Manteca, and there’s about a 15% bump in occupancies in other hotels. Just because people stay another day.”

For example, Peck said mom and dad can drop leave the kids at GWL while embarking on a night out on the town.

The Great Wolf Lodge Adventure Park includes a ropes course. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Great Wolf Lodge Long Considered Third State Location

Great Wolf Lodge operates two California resorts— in Orange County near Disneyland and in Manteca, which opened in 2021.

When GV Wire reviewed the Manteca location, the company said another California location was possible.

“About the middle of the year, Great Wolf kind of made themselves known to a bunch of Valley communities. We were able to winnow down to the last one or two and we’ve been working with them for four or five months now,” Peck said.

Peck said GWL was also considering Bakersfield and Lancaster.

“Partly because of our readiness and because of the more centralized location, I think they like the Visalia-Tulare County market.”

 

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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