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Cecil County Life

Great Wolf Lodge Maryland: Magic in Perryville

Jun 29, 2023 01:27PM ● By Tricia Hoadley
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

Over the course of the last half-century, the American family vacation has too often become a complicated and excessively expensive adventure, punctuated by airlines, crammed hotel stays and the stress of keeping everyone in the family happy, safe and in one place.

Throughout its 26-year history, Great Wolf Resorts has served as the very welcome antidote to all of that, with a simple mission to provide families with the opportunity to enjoy their vacation in an all-inclusive environment of fun and togetherness – a playground in which to create their own family experiences and traditions.

This simple concept was first launched by brothers Jack and Turk Waterman in 1997 with the Black Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin, with 117 suites and 20,000 square feet of water park space, all under one roof.

Understanding the value of a fully-integrated family vacation experience, the brand of Great Wolf Resorts has since grown to include 19 resorts in 16 states and Ontario where families enjoy expansive water parks and dozens of amenities, all within a few minutes’ walk of on-premise suites, restaurants and shops.

In late June, in partnership with the City of Perryville and the civic leadership of state and Cecil County government, Great Wolf Resorts will open its 20th and largest location to date – Great Wolf Lodge Maryland in Perryville. Now in the final stages of its construction, the 48-acre resort will offer 700 family-friendly suites and a 128,000-square-foot indoor water park – which will be 25 percent larger than the resort’s current largest water park.

Located at the Chesapeake Overlook near the Susquehanna River, Great Wolf Lodge Maryland will be a convenient drive for families living along the Mid-Atlantic Region, extending from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore to Wilmington and Philadelphia.

“One of the things we look for in determining our next destination is to make sure that we are bringing the Great Wolf experience to as many families as possible,” said Nadine Miracle, who will serve as the Perryville resort’s general manager. “Cecil County is conveniently located about an hour or two from major cities.

“Sometimes our guests drive as many as three hours to our resorts, and that allows us to expand our footprint to even more cities along the Eastern seaboard. This destination tends to be great for what families look for in weekend staycations and mid-week vacations, and it really helps us begin to deliver our brand promise, which is that convenient and care-free get-away for families that are accessible to everyone.”

“As we look to expand the Great Wolf Lodge experience to new markets, we are excited to place our newest resort in Perryville and provide Mid-Atlantic families with an easy, care-free escape where kids and parents will laugh, play and have joy-filled adventures together,” said Murray Hennessy, chief executive officer for Great Wolf Resorts. “Being a short driving distance from several key markets makes Perryville an ideal location for a Great Wolf Lodge. With the tremendous support from the state, county and town, as well as our shareholders Blackstone and Centerbridge Partners, we’re excited to make this resort a reality. We’re eager to be a part of this community and to help contribute to its continued growth and prosperity.”

Acres of family fun, all under one roof

Great Wolf Lodge Maryland will include:

● An expansive 126,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, heated to a comfortable 84 degrees and featuring a variety of body slides, tube slides, raft rides, activity pools and splash areas for every member of the family

● The Great Wolf Adventure Park, a 57,000-square-foot family entertainment center that will offer a variety of family-friendly attractions, including MagiQuest – Great Wolf Lodge’s exclusive live-action adventure game where players use interactive magic wands to battle goblins and dragons

● A collection of complimentary family events and activities including Yoga Tails, a morning exercise program that combines tales from animal friends found in the Northwoods with yoga poses, and Great Wolf Lodge’s signature Story Time event, where children gather around the fireplace for a bedtime tale

● Several dining options that will appeal to a variety of culinary styles ranging from pizza and burgers, to upscale dining at Barnwood and premium ice cream treats at Wood’s End Creamery

● Family friendly suites in a variety of designs and styles including Great Wolf themed suites with separate sleeping quarters for kids designed as either a log cabin or wolf den

Huge economic impact, job creator

Not only will Great Wolf Lodge Maryland serve as a convenient entertainment destination for families, it will help drive the county and state economy now and for years to come. The $250 million resort, which began construction in 2021 under the direction of the Baltimore-based division of Turner Construction Company, has created more than 2,000 employment opportunities. Its role as a job creator won’t end when the doors open later this year; Great Wolf Lodge Maryland will develop more than 900 new jobs in Cecil County, ranging from its executive leadership team, management and supervisory positions, human resources, finance, engineering and IT professionals to lifeguards and housekeepers -- all with long-term career growth potential.

“Great Wolf Lodge’s investment in Maryland will not only provide a year-round tourism attraction for visitors, but it will also bring significant job creation to Cecil County over the next few years,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “With thousands of construction jobs in the works, and more than 900 new jobs expected when

the resort opens, Great Wolf's impact will be felt throughout the Mid Atlantic region. We couldn't be happier to have the company select Maryland for its largest resort yet.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Great Wolf Lodge’s largest resort to the Town of Perryville. We are excited to partner with such an iconic brand and our residents are eager to welcome them to our community,” said Perryville Mayor Matt Roath. “With Great Wolf’s reputation for family-friendly entertainment, attractions and accommodations, it's a perfect fit for our town. We feel this project will greatly add to our local tourism offerings with a significant economic impact for our community. We anticipate Great Wolf Lodge will be the first project in what promises to be the most significant growth period our town has ever seen.”

The arrival of Great Wolf Lodge Maryland -- where families all along the Mid-Atlantic Region will be able to enjoy time together in an all-inclusive setting – is a stroke not only of innovation and strategic and geographic investment, but one of great timing.

“What we have seen over the past few years during the pandemic and post-pandemic is that now, more than ever, families are craving time together,” Miracle said. “We have become that place where it’s more than a day trip but it’s not a week-long vacation that requires extensive travel and plane trips. We make sure that we’re not only a water park but bringing the entire brand experience of Great Wolf Lodge to life.

“Our purpose as a brand and our every day culture is to bring joy to families – to strengthen their family by creating experiences and entertainment offerings that the whole family can enjoy together. Every day life can get really busy, distracted by work, school and other priorities. We want to be able to provide that escape that offers quality family time that allows them to disconnect from the stresses of their lives and enjoy their time together, one family at a time.”

For complete information about Great Wolf Lodge Maryland including accommodations, visit

Waterpark Attractions at Great Wolf Lodge Maryland

Otter Cave Waterworks in Maryland, a four-story water fort treehouse compete with slides and toys

Slap Tail Pond, a wave pool

Crooked Creek, a floating tube experience

Raccoon Lagoon, an outdoor water playground

At the Great Wolf Adventure Park

MagiQuest, Great Wolf Resort’s interactive adventure

Howl in One, mini golf for the entire family pack

Build a Bear workshop

Oliver’s Mining Co. and Oliver’s Mining Maze

Ten Paw Alley bowling lanes

Howlers Peak Ropes Course

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