Great Wolf Lodge currently operates two of its popular indoor water park resorts in California; split north/south by geography.
A third is expected to open in the central part of the state — specifically, Visalia — as early as 2025.
The company has land use and environmental approvals from Tulare County and is getting ready to start design work, according to Aaron Bock, the assistant director with the county’s Resource Management Agency.
If the current timeline holds, the project is expected to break ground at Caldwell Avenue and Highway 99 in late 2023 and open sometime in 2025.
The 35-acre, 525-room hotel and indoor water park is planned as part of the larger Sequoia Gateway Commerce Center.
Bock said the county, along with the city of Visalia, have been working together to move the project along as quickly as possible since it first came on the radar about a year and a half ago. In July, the county Board of Supervisors approved a tax incentive plan that would run for the first 15 years of operation.
That was likely a major factor in the company’s site selection process, Bock said.
“Tulare County is very business friendly.”
For its part, Great Wolf Lodge has no significant updates on the project and stopped short of confirming much more than a desire to be in the central San Joaquin Valley.
In a statement, the company said it is “currently evaluating the prospect of developing one of our signature indoor water park resorts for Central California. We continue to have discussions with local officials about a promising location in Tulare County, and are appreciative of the county and city of Visalia’s support as we further evaluate this opportunity.”
Great Wolf Lodge has 19 locations across the United States, with another two in the works, according to its website.
In California, it opened the 105,000-square-foot Southern California resort in Garden Grove (south of Disneyland) in 2016. It was the first indoor water park in the state and remains the company’s largest location. The Northern California/Bay Area location opened in Manteca in late June 2021, after being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic for nearly a year.