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.

Hyatt Place East Moline/Quad Cities and Hyatt House East Moline Quad/Cities, situated along the Mississippi River in East Moline, Illinois, are set to open this December. The hotels are twin nine-story hotels where every room has a view of the Mississippi, and each hotel has a ninth-floor lounge and gathering space that offer views of the river and prime bald eagle spotting. 

 

This November, Tapestry Collection by Hilton opened its first property in Illinois—The Rose Hotel Chicago O’Hare. The new hotel, designed by The Gettys Group, has eight modern meetings and event spaces, totaling 6,000 square feet of functional, flexible space. 

 

The Rose Hotel Chicago O’Hare, Tapestry Collection by Hilton officially opened this holiday season on November 15 while honoring veteran Elizabeth O’Byrne in conjunction with Veterans Day. O’Byrne and her family received the first guest special experience at the hotel’s grand opening event.