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Wisconsin Developers Building $48 million
 Great Wolf Lodge and Water Park Resort
 in Lightfoot, Virginia

Daily Press, Newport News, Va.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 

Dec. 10, 2003 --YORK COUNTY, Va.--Developers of a $48 million resort in Lightfoot, featuring a log-cabin look and a massive indoor water park, declared the official launching of the project Tuesday morning at a ceremony with county officials and tourism leaders. 

The proposed Great Wolf Lodge, to be completed by early spring 2005, is 400,000 square feet, twice the size of the nearby Wal-Mart Supercenter. The lodge is located on East Rochambeau Drive near the intersection of Interstate 64 and 199. 

Along with a four-story indoor water park, the lodge features 301 themed suites, an arcade, an outdoor pool, a spa, a gift emporium and convenience store, a 250-seat family restaurant and bar, a gift shop and meeting space. 

The indoor water park will include seven water slides, pools, hot tubs and a giant tree house waterfort. It's only for guests at the lodge where rates will be $259 to $449 a night in peak season except that large groups such as birthday parties can reserve times if occupancy allows. 

It's the sixth such resort for the Great Lakes Companies Inc., based in Madison, Wis. 

Eric Lund, a partner and senior vice president of sales and marketing for the company, estimates it will attract at least 400,000 families each year. 

The area's tourism leaders are counting on the new and pricey attraction to create more of a tourism market during the winter months, and add to existing attractions the rest of the year. 

"We need all the visitors we can get," said Cathy Chaplain, sales director at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel and Suites and chair of the Williamsburg Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

The Wisconsin developers have been working with the county on the project for two years and had hoped to break ground earlier in the year. County officials say no major hurdles remain in the way of final approval. 

By April Taylor and Chris Schnaars 

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(c) 2003, Daily Press, Newport News, Va. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. WMT, HOT, 


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