Colorado Springs water park and resort now scheduled for late December opening

Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells
Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park and family resort in northern Colorado Springs, will open Dec. 26 - taking the place of a long-shuttered hotel that had been abandoned by a developer during the Great Recession.

Wisconsin-based Great Wolf Resorts, which operates and develops water park resorts nationwide, posted the opening date on its website and has started taking reservations for the complex. The resort is being developed east of Interstate 25 and InterQuest Parkway, in the InterQuest Marketplace retail center.

James Anderson, general manager for Great Wolf in the Springs, said via email that the resort will include a 311-room, all-suite hotel; a 50,000-square-foot indoor water park; restaurants; more than 20,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space; spas; and an indoor play area with a bowling alley, miniature golf, arcade and other activities.

The water park will be for use only by overnight hotel guests, who can obtain additional passes for a daily fee; all other resort amenities, including restaurants, will be open to the public, according to Anderson.

The resort also will employ 200 full-time and 300 part-time workers, Anderson says.

The company is developing the resort as part of the completion and renovation of the troubled Renaissance hotel.

An original developer completed about half of the multistory Renaissance before running out of money in 2009. It then stood idle and partially boarded up - an eyesore visible to thousands of motorists passing by daily - until Great Wolf bought the property in July 2015. At the time, the company said it would spend $90 million to buy and complete the hotel and to add the other amenities.

The resort will join a 180-room Drury Inn & Suites hotel, a 14-screen Regal movie theater complex, the Summit entertainment center, Cheddar's Casual Cafe, Colorado Mountain Brewery, a Kum & Go convenience store and several fast-casual restaurants as part of InterQuest Marketplace.

Meanwhile, Springs developer Gary Erickson, who has planned a second hotel and water park a few miles north at the Polaris Pointe retail center, couldn't be reached for comment Friday on his project's status.

Reported by: