SANDUSKY, Ohio — Just in time for the warmer weather, Great Wolf Lodge has opened its doors for guests looking for a place to cool off.
Water parks in Ohio were closed back in March as the state worked to combat the increases number of coronavirus cases across the state. Since then, Gov. Mike DeWine issues orders to allow them to reopen beginning June 19, and Great Wolf Lodge took an extra week for preparations before opening Friday morning.
Like all other industries to reopen, they are taking extra health and safety precautions as required by state guidelines.
“We’ve got a safe fun environment just as we always have with a few modifications,” said Jason Brays, General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky. “That’s included minimizing contact surfaces wherever possible; going through and maintaining social distancing throughout the resort. We’ve got a big resort to spread people out.”
There are also markers throughout the 33,000-square-foot indoor water park and other resort areas to remind guests to stay apart from one another. While many local pools have made the decision to close certain attractions like diving boards and slides, Great Wolf Lodge is opening all water attractions
In a press release announcing the reopening, the company cited the CDC, noting “’there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds’ and that ‘proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection of pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds should inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.’”
There are also modifications to reduce contact among guests and employees, including plexiglas barriers and contact-less payments.
“We’ve introduced mobile app ordering to make it convenient for guests to enjoy the same great food and beverages that they love here at Great Wolf,” Bays told 3News.
Bays adds the water park has a close working relationship with the local board of health and is confident that reopening the park is being done in the safest way possible.
“Every spot that a guest could think of that they could have concern over, we’ve worked to address with our local health officials,” he said.
Here’s a list of some of the safety measures provided by Great Wolf Lodge:
- Great Wolf Lodge partnered with disinfectant experts to determine the best virus eliminating agents for use in its resorts and the most effective sanitization methods. Resort staff will sanitize all frequently touched surfaces in the waterpark, attraction areas, restaurants and all other public spaces continually using hospital-grade disinfectants.
- All guest rooms are disinfected and sanitized prior to check-in, with room attendants paying special attention to high touchpoint areas such as door handles, light switches, in-room phone, thermostats and television remotes.
- Great Wolf Lodge will initially reduce occupancy levels at its resorts to 50% or less to provide an abundance of space so families can easily navigate the resort and waterpark with a minimum of six-feet of separation from those outside of their traveling party.
- Markers will be placed in queues for waterslides, attractions, retail shops, food outlets and front desk measuring six-feet of distance between guests, and the resort will remove, reposition or place out-of-service, chairs and tables throughout the water park and resort to ensure family groups can properly social distance themselves from other guests.
- The number of hand-sanitizer stations throughout the resort will increase significantly and Great Wolf Lodge is providing personal protection amenities for its guests such as disinfectant wipes, sanitizer and face coverings. Guests can request a complimentary mask at the front desk.
- In locations where a slightly longer interaction between pack members and guests is expected, and where social distancing may be a challenge, Great Wolf Lodge is installing plexiglass barriers to provide adequate separation.
- Great Wolf Lodge will implement additional contactless payment options at the resort. Guests can use credit card, debit card or their resort wristband for purchases to minimize touchpoints associated with cash transactions.
- Food outlets will offer remote ordering with pick-up options so guests can enjoy their meals in the comfort of their rooms.
- All pack members will undergo a wellness and temperature check before reporting to work. Anyone presenting a fever, having recent ailments or indicating a possible exposure to COVID-19 will be sent home. Pack members will also be required to wear masks in situations where always maintaining social distancing may be difficult.