|By Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 14, 2006 - The co-founder of Madison-based Great Wolf Resorts Inc. has resigned from the company's board, it was disclosed Monday.
No explanation was offered for Marc Vaccaro's resignation in a filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Vaccaro, a non-management director, could not be reached immediately for comment.
Great Wolf has no immediate plans to replace Vaccaro, the SEC filing said. His resignation leaves the company with seven board members, including five who qualify as independent directors, the filing said.
Great Wolf operates six indoor water park resorts, including properties in Wisconsin Dells and Sheboygan, and has five other resorts under development.
The company went public in December 2004, but had a one-day stock price drop of 31 percent in July after reporting a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. It was later sued for allegedly providing misleading earnings guidance to investors, a claim the company has denied. Those suits are pending in U.S. District Court in Madison.
Vaccaro co-founded Great Wolf with board Chairman Bruce Neviaser.
The two Madison real estate developers specialized in retail and hotel properties before buying Black Wolf Lodge, a Dells water park resort, in 1999. They later renamed it Great Wolf Lodge, and then expanded the concept by opening additional resorts in other states.
Great Wolf stock, which went public at $17, closed at $13.65, a decline of $6.12, on July 28, when the company reported a loss of $2.5 million, or 8 cents a share.
That loss, which Chief Executive Officer John Emery called "embarrassing," was more than twice the expected loss of $1 million, or 3 cents a share, which the company had forecast in June.
The company is to report its fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 22. Great Wolf's stock closed Monday at $10.75, down 15 cents, before Vaccaro's resignation was disclosed.
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