Gilroy Enters Exclusive Negotiations Period with Great Wolf Lodge, Brentwood Plans on Hold

Photo posted on Great Wolf Lodge Resort Facebook Page

Plans for Great Wolf Lodge coming to the City of Brentwood are on hold after the City of Gilroy announced last week it had entered into a 60-day exclusivity period with Great Wolf Lodge.

Back in January, the City of Brentwood announced its own 60-day exclusivity period with Great Wolf Lodge which included a $275,000 General Fund Amendment to study the project.

The $275,000 would go to HR&A Advisors to fund the requisite legal support, economic and feasibility analysis and due diligence process which is necessary to provide assurance to the City Council, residents and staff that a potential agreement with Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. would be in the City’s best long-term interest.

The a site location was identified off Highway 4 and Lone Tree Way should it be built.

Great Wolf Lodge is considering both Gilroy and Brentwood along with Manteca. It is unclear if Brentwood is out of the running for the facility.

The following Fact Sheet & Frequently Asked Questions was posted on the City of Gilroy on August 30, 2017:


WHAT? ·         Great Wolf Resorts has identified Gilroy, California as a potential location for a new Great Wolf Lodge family resort and has entered into a60-day period of exclusivity with the City and community of Gilroy.

·         The proposed resort is planned for up to 700 family suites, with shops, restaurants, conference facilities, an indoor waterpark, and other on-site attractions.

WHO? ·         Great Wolf Lodge resorts attract families with children ages 2 to12.

·         Guests typically drive 1 to 4 hours to stay at a Great Wolf Lodge, with an average stay of 1 to2 nights.

·         The proposed Gilroy location would likely draw visitors from the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Central Valley, and Central Coast regions, as well as some out-of-state and foreign visitors.

·         A Great Wolf Lodge resort typically welcomes nearly 500,000 visitors throughout the entire year. This is approximately the same as the annual attendance at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park(open seasonally, March through December).

·         Great Wolf Lodge limits access to its indoor waterpark exclusively to guests staying at the resort. This creates a more enjoyable experience for guests by reducing wait times for the slides and attractions, while also ensuring more safe and secure environment for guests.

WHERE? ·         The proposed site is on land currently owned by the City of Gilroy, just south of Highway 152/Hecker Pass. The site is adjacent to Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park and is currently used primarily for storage and parking.
WHEN? ·         Starting August 1, 2017, Great Wolf entered a 60-day exclusivity period to gather input from the City and the community.

·         If the City and Great Wolf agree to move forward with locating a Great WolfLodge in Gilroy, construction could begin as early as December 2019.


WHY? ·         Great Wolf has identified Gilroy as a preferred site due to its location, local labor force, and proximity to other community and visitor attractions. Other Northern California locations are under consideration as well, but due to the exclusivity period, Great Wolf will negotiate only with Gilroy during the 60-day term.

·         Benefits to the Gilroy community include significant new tax revenues, new construction and permanent resort jobs, and other community benefits.
o The Lodge would generate new Transit Occupancy Tax, Sales Tax, and Property Tax revenues, which go into the City’s General Fund to pay for roads, police and fire services, city parks, recreational programs, and other amenities.
o The project would create an estimated 1,500 construction and 500 permanent resort jobs.
o The Lodge would draw new visitors to Gilroy. These visitors would not otherwise visit Gilroy, instead choosing to visit other cities for their family vacation. These new visitors will visit other local attractions, shops, restaurants, and businesses. All of this benefits Gilroy through positive economic impact and helps pay for services, programs and amenities throughout the community


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


How would a Great Wolf Lodge impact the local economy?
A Great Wolf Lodge has the potential to generate millions of dollars in annual general fund revenues through Transit Occupancy Tax, Sales Tax, and Property Tax. These funds are typically used to pay for public amenities like roads, fire and police services, parks, recreational and youth programs, and more.

The City of Gilroy has verified the potential economic impact through its own independent economic  and fiscal analysis.

Great Wolf is proposing a private-public partnership with the City of Gilroy to fund and/or construct city owned infrastructure so the land can be developed into a new family resort. During this 60-day exclusive  evaluation period, City leaders will be outlining this work in more detail and conducting outreach to  determine whether the community is supportive of moving forward with this proposal.
How many jobs would a Great Wolf Lodge create?
In addition to more than 1,500 jobs created during construction, the initial phase (estimated 500 rooms) would support 500 jobs at the resort. The long-term plan (estimated 700 rooms) would support up to 750 jobs. Based on these projections, Great Wolf Lodge would rank among Gilroy’s top three employers.

Positions would include a wide range of management, administrative, guest services, housekeeping, spa,  retail, food and beverage, and aquatics jobs. There would be a variety of full-time salary, full-time  hourly, and part-time positions available throughout the entire year.
What other benefits could local residents and businesses expect to receive from  a Great Wolf Lodge?
Tourist dollars invigorate the local economy. Tourist spending drives significant tax revenues to the City’s General Fund, which typically pays for roads, police, fire, and other public amenities. A Great Wolf Lodge resort typically welcomes nearly 500,000 visitors per year.

With approximately 500,000 additional visitors each year to the City of Gilroy, local attractions (like Gilroy Gardens, Gilroy Premium Outlets, and Santa Clara Valley wineries) as well as local stores and restaurants would see increased business.

Great Wolf Lodge would spend millions of dollars each year marketing the Gilroy location, which would in turn increase visibility of the Gilroy community and drive additional tourist visits.

The proposed Great Wolf Lodge would include conference, event and meeting rooms, which would fill a  need in this community for large gathering spaces. Currently local businesses and non-profit  organizations have to hold major events outside of Gilroy due to the lack of sufficient facilities.

Great Wolf also has a proven track record of being a “good neighbor” and a strong supporter of local communities. For example, Great Wolf representatives frequently serve on the Boards of Directors of local Visitor Bureaus (like the Gilroy Welcome Center) to promote tourism-related activities. Through sponsorships, donations, and event hosting, Great Wolf also helps raise funds for non-profit groups like the Ronald McDonald House and United Way as well as local schools, charities, and military families. If Great Wolf does come to Gilroy, it would work in close partnership with the City to enhance the quality of life for local residents.
How would a Great Wolf Lodge impact the natural environment?
The Lodge would create visual harmony with Gilroy Gardens and the surrounding natural environment and would align well with the City’s plan for the Hecker Pass corridor. Environmental stewardship is very  important to both the City of Gilroy and Great Wolf. The architecture and landscaping of the proposed Lodge would enhance the aesthetic beauty of the site, which is currently used primarily for storage and parking.

A complete Environmental Impact Report would be prepared by the City and circulated to the
public for review and comment prior to any City Council decision approving the Lodge.

How would a Great Wolf Lodge affect Gilroy Gardens?
Great Wolf Lodge has indicated it would be interested in partnering with both Gilroy Gardens and the  Gilroy Welcome Center on cross-promotional opportunities that benefit all of Gilroy. Similar to Gilroy  Gardens Family Theme Park, Great Wolf Lodge attracts families with children ages 2 to 12. Since a Great  Wolf Lodge would attract visitors from more distant locations than those that currently visit Gilroy, the  Lodge is likely to increase the visibility of Gilroy Gardens to new visitors.

A portion of the Great Wolf Lodge would be built on several acres of City-owned land that is currently  being used by Gilroy Gardens for storage, utilities, and a corporate picnic area. The Lodge would not impact any of Gilroy Gardens’ family attractions, rides, or water features. To encourage visitors to explore both properties, Great Wolf is proposing a landscaped pedestrian connection between the Lodge and Gilroy Gardens.


How would a Great Wolf Lodge impact local traffic?
The Lodge would be located off Highway 152/Hecker Pass, and visitors would use the same entrance  road off the highway as Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park. Preliminary traffic studies are currently  underway. The project is not expected to have a significant impact on traffic in the community because guests most frequently travel to the Lodge during off-peak travel times such as weekends and mid-day.  The potential impact of traffic will be measured and reported in the Environmental Impact Report.

How would a Great Wolf Lodge affect views of the hills and countryside?
The Lodge is proposed as a 6-story resort hotel and attached indoor waterpark with an enclosed slide tower reaching 85-90 feet high. The resort would be designed by professional architects and landscape designers to blend in with and enhance the existing natural environment. Due to the high density of tall  trees surrounding the property, the Lodge is not expected to significantly impact the views from any  neighboring residences or Highway 152. The Lodge’s exterior would feature natural materials and earth tone colors to complement the natural beauty of the Hecker Pass corridor.

Will noise from the facility affect nearby neighborhoods?
A Great Wolf Lodge is a self-contained resort facility. All of the attractions are indoors (with the exception of an outdoor swimming pool), and the Lodge accordingly does not generate much noise. The potential impact of noise will be measured and reported in the Environmental Impact Report and is expected to be less than what is currently generated by Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park.

What about water usage in a Great Wolf Lodge?
Because water is a critical amenity to the Lodge, Great Wolf takes every reasonable precaution to  efficiently use water. The total amount of water inside the indoor waterpark is less than one Olympicsized swimming pool, and the water re-use and recycle program is one of the most advanced in the world. In addition, low-flow showerheads and faucets throughout the resort help reduce water usage. Exterior landscaping would use drought-resistant local plants, and sidewalks would be swept instead of washed. Great Wolf also has a strong guest linen reuse program that saves water by eliminating  unnecessary laundering.

Will Gilroy residents be able to visit the Lodge and use the facilities?
The resort’s restaurants, shops, conference rooms, and indoor attractions (which may include an arcade, mini bowling alley, theater, rock-climbing wall, mini golf, and ropes course with zip line) would all be open to the public. The indoor waterpark is reserved for resort guests. Great Wolf Lodge limits access to its indoor waterpark to create a more enjoyable experience for resort guests by reducing wait times for the slides and attractions, while also ensuring a safe and secure environment for guests. Great Wolf would work with the City to identify opportunities for residents (in particular families in need) to use the  facility on special “Gilroy Days” during the year. And all families will be welcome to book a stay at the


How can I learn more about the proposed Great Wolf Lodge?
To learn more about the proposed Great Wolf Lodge project in Gilroy, please contact Great Wolf Resorts Director of Development Bryson Heezen at [email protected]




  1. Good! Let them go to Gilroy, the only people who seem to want this project are Gus Vina and the City Council and the hell with the actual citizens. They only care about tax money, not quality of life.

  2. Agreed. Better in Gilroy. We have enough traffic and out of towners blowing through our community during harvest time.

    Most of us moved out here to get away from this crap.

  3. “Great Wolf limits attendance in the Water Park to paying hotel guests.” I have been saying that all a long and was told I am crazy. The average Joe will never get into the water park.

  4. Good, we don’t want this for our community anyway. Councilmembers, do you really want this?? I hope not. Let it go.

  5. I explained the last time why Gilroy will get the resort. Stop wasting money on this project!

  6. Is everyone forgetting about the smell? LOL Who would want to pay money on an expensive, family vacation that reeks of garlic? It permeates everything in that town. I think that this is a very, very bad idea.

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