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HOME STRETCH: Florida's first Great Wolf Lodge months away from Naples opening

Florida's first Great Wolf Lodge is months away from opening
IN THE HOME STRETCH: Great Wolf South Florida is 5 months from opening
IN THE HOME STRETCH: Great Wolf South Florida is 5 months from opening
Posted at 9:12 PM, Apr 18, 2024

NAPLES, Fla. — More than 600 construction jobs and more than 600 hospitality jobs are part of what Great Wolf Lodge South Florida says they're bringing to Collier County.

"From our family of Collier County to you, we welcome Great Wolf to our family," said Bill McDaniel, Collier County Commissioner at Thursday's first walk-through of the new generation Great Wolf Lodge.

After years of setbacks and waiting, Collier County is almost ready to enjoy its very own Great Wolf Lodge and the first in Florida.

"Our brand actually emerged stronger through COVID," said Jason Bays, General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge South Florida. "We found that families want to spend time together and connect and that family time is really valued, so we saw a really great spike in business coming off of the pandemic."

The resort is conveniently placed next to the Paradise Coast Sports Complex and a future USL 1 team. It is bringing a promise for economic growth to the county.

"In the event that an events happen over at the park and people need to get out," said McDaniel. "This is a place where they can come and shelter out from a potential lightning strike and, I mean, the synergy is just perfect."

According to a study conducted by the county, the resort is not only bringing an expected $5 billion in economic impact and a more than $150 million in tax benefits over the next 30 years, but also bringing more than 600 jobs that they hope to keep as local hires.

"Originally it was about math," said McDaniel. "It was about jobs. It was about economic well-being for our community. It was about all of the things that I think government leadership should promote. Now that I'm seeing this come into fruition, it's more than just that. It's about families."

The Great Wolf Lodge South Florida is expected to open on September 25, 2024.