The family-focused, Wisconsin-based Great Wolf Lodge opened its first resort in Wisconsin Dells in 1997. Over the next two decades, it slowly expanded with more properties around the Midwest, moving into the Northeast, South, West and Canada. And this summer, the greater Chicago area will get its first resort from the brand.

Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, slated to open July 1 in Gurnee, will include the hallmark giant waterpark, family-friendly dining options and woodsy décor. The property will also have 7,800 square feet of meeting space, 414 guest rooms (including 14 suite styles) and a separate entrance for meeting guests to avoid the waterpark. It’s the result of a $40 million makeover to the former Key Lime Cove property.

Though the waterpark plays second fiddle to meeting groups looking to get business done at the resort, it has a nice perk: Guests have access to the waterpark at 1 p.m. on the day of check-in, so they can arrive early or with families in tow to take advantage of the fun facilities.

Meeting planners can also get creative with events at Great Wolf Lodge. They can use the 38,000-square-foot adventure park for teambuilding, or rent it out for “waterpark after dark” cocktail hour.

“How often can you have a cocktail party with these elements available to you?” says General Manager Emilio Fabico, noting the Illinois property will also have a lazy river, the funnel-like Whitewater Whirl waterslides and the Wolf Rider, for daring guests only.

Another attraction of Great Wolf Lodge Illinois is the brand’s newly revamped F&B program, which includes the farm-to-fork restaurant Barnwood. Guests will find fresh dishes made with locally sourced ingredients alongside a craft cocktail menu, also available to meeting groups.

The property is holding a job fair for nearly 600 positions at College of Lake County in Grayslake this week through May 18 (details), and is accepting reservations starting July 1, 2018.

Tilman J. Fertitta has announced the opening of The Post Oak at Uptown Houston—the newest luxury destination and singular mixed-use development that caters to business and leisure travelers.

Set on 10 acres by The Galleria and River Oaks District, this 38-story tower has new design, art collections, technology, fashion, and restaurants.

The Post Oak has 250 guestrooms and suites; 20 executive residences; and a 35,000-square-foot conference facility, including the largest ballroom in the Uptown Houston area.

 

Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center on Lake Grapevine will open its $120 million expansion on May 1, 2018.

Named the “Vineyard Tower,” the expansion adds 303 guestrooms to its current 1,511 and 86,000 square feet of meeting space to the existing property - making it the third largest, non-gaming convention/ meetings hotel in the United States.

 

The city of Arlington is excited to announce plans for a state-of-the-art esports stadium designed to draw competitive gaming players and fans from around the world.

The 100,000-square-foot space, which would be the largest esports stadium in the country, is set to open its doors this fall in Arlington’s Entertainment District.