There are many exciting things coming to the Poconos.
We wanted to give all of you a sneak peak at some new things the Pocono Mountains for 2023 and 2024.
Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains has been a successful resort since 2005. But now things are getting even bigger and better.
“I met up with Bill Colavito from Great Wolf Lodge and we talked about the massive expansion happening right here.
“This is one of the premiere properties in crown jewel in the Pocono Mountains. And undergoing a tremendous transformation and we happen to be talking to the right person to tell us all about it Bill Colavito who is the general manager of Great Wolf Lodge,” said Chris Barrett.
“Chris, thank you very much. Especially for that kind introduction. We couldn't have been happier for you to be here. We're really excited at the fact that we are actually building a hotel. And a whole bunch of expansion stuff while we're operating a hotel,” said Colavito. “It's a $125 million dollar project, where we're adding an additional tower called a mountain tower. We're adding villas, 30 units. 10 buildings of villas that are 1554 square foot each for families. And an additional water expansion on top of an additional restaurant design brand new for us. So we'll start with the villas and the interesting thing is that over the years, we've been doing this since 2005 first of all. And every year we want to make it a little bit of a different experience for guests each year that they come back. We have about 35% of our guests that continue keep coming back to us. They’re all, 60% of them are all this big. So the families really enjoy. And what we found was that there's multi generations, there's friends and families that come and visit us. So our villas are 15 hundred and 54 square feet for each one. There's 3 bedrooms, there's a huge kitchen area, so the whole idea is that these families can get together and actually enjoy time together. So the beauty of the villas, and how/why it works so well is we're in the Pocono Mountains. And the Pocono Mountains is just beautiful and our properties are like nestled in there and we have these beautiful back drop views. So these villas add that whole component of like nature.”
“So if we have a guest, that is bringing that little one for the first time, they want that standard experience, that they've come to know, the great experience at Great Wolf. Talk about the new tower,” said Chris.
“We're calling that the Mountain Tower. So it's a tower that has an additional 202 suites. And there's standard, themed, and premium. So now we can have multiple families in rooms that are connected to each other. So you can be at a themed suite, where the kids have their own bunk bed and families are on the outside of it. Connected to a family suite where maybe its grandma and grandpa, or other family and friends. So that also works for the whole multi-generational kind of. Where people and families are coming to their destination,” added Colavito.
“One thing that we noticed to was that the waterparks are getting a huge upgrade. The food on the site we definitely don't want to forget about, because the new Fireside restaurant is amazing. Talk to us about the waterpark, the outdoor, and then the Fireside,” said Chris.
“Sure, so if you think about, we obviously need to expand our waterpark and our restaurant capabilities and everything else that's happening inside the hotel. Because we're adding 232 rooms. So we added a 40,000 square foot waterpark and it’s really really exciting. So inside this additional waterpark, so it’s going to extend from our existing waterpark to total 120,000 square feet of water park space. We added an additional bar and restaurant inside there. There's new locker rooms and rest rooms as well. And then there's a huge outdoor area, huge. Twice the size which has food and beverage experience. We have fire pits, we have an outdoor hot tub, we have a huge pool with splash beds now. And a huge four-story ropes course,” said Colavito.
“So this really is an amazing experience, as you described it. But I think, and I don't want to use the word cherry on top. But the Fireside restaurant was really out of a whole new level of food service,” said Barrett.
“Without a doubt, so originally and folks have been coming here. You've had one restaurant. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That was probably our achilles heel. Because not only do we have quick service. But we had pizza and burgers and Dunkin Donuts and ice cream. I mean all these things you can do while you're out and about. But when you want to come out for dinner we just has a buffet restaurant. So now we actually added a restaurant, a three meal restaurant. Which is an elevated experience called Fireside Restaurant. And this awesome, a beautiful bar, beautiful restaurant. So our menu kind of emulates like outdoor kind of camping. We serve skillets and of course we have smores afterwards etc.” said Colavito.
“And the menu is amazing. You make your own mac and cheese, which every small kid loves. But I mean it’s great mac and cheese,” said Barrett.
“Our mac and cheese is this house made mac and cheese. Its probably our number 1 selling item, as we speak and adults love it too,” said Colavito.
“It’s awesome,” said Barrett.
“On top of that we expanded the entire lobby because of all the people are coming. That whole arrival experience. The front desk and that buffet restaurant that I talked about we're remodeling all of that. So there will be a whole other buffet restaurant. And that's actually going to be called, Timber Tables.”
“I think its really interesting to say that you're operating a full service hotel. While this is all being built, not missing a step. You know the guests are still getting a great experience. What do you want the guest to know, about the one thing about the new look here, one thing here in Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos?” asked Barrett.
“For all the guests that have been coming, we really appreciate their loyalty of coming to our brand because literally we have 95 acres and a majority of those acres are being under construction as we're building all of this for our guests, but through the process sometimes it can be a little painful. I would love to say to anyone coming to the Pocono Mountains that not only is the destination beautiful but we're nestled in the Pocono Mountains and you can do whatever you like, you still have the opportunity to do other things that you enjoy in the Pocono Mountains,” said Colavito.
“Great Wolf Lodge is one of the crown jewels of the Pocono Mountains, it gives the experience that you come to expect from us. And is now moving up to greater levels with greater amenities,” said Barrett. “This great waterpark expansion should be open by July 4th this year. The balance of the project in August.”
“When you think of hibachi and sushi based restaurants in the Poconos only one name comes to mind. Desaki,” said Deanna Fontanez. “Their amazing food is not only beautiful but is delicious and fun to watch.”
“Donte your mom Charlie is joining us now, why don't you guys tell me a little more in depth about the project we were talking about outside,” said Deanna.
“So being a boutique hotel allows us to have much more flexibility especially with the amenities and the interior design. Um a couple of things just to highlight, you know we have an indoor/outdoor pool. A swim under that you'll be able to go out in a radiant heat back patio,” said Donte Trapasso. “An executive meeting room, as I mentioned outside the plunge pool suites as well as a fifth floor with a beautiful concierge lounge and a concierge level that will be able to enhanced features. But the real main point was the interior design which in coordination with the company, my mom was able to really make a wonderful, wonderful design.”
“I had the easiest part of this whole project,” said Donte’s mother, Charlie Trapasso. “And it’s been a lot of fun. And it’s been fun because we've been able to have a dream, have a vision. And put it together. And this has been an interesting experience. The hotel is going to be a blend of boutique and luxury. And really focused on bringing in organic element to highlight the beauty of the Pocono Mountains. Uh for example green. Green is our color. Love the color green. We have featuring emeralds and evergreens. And we're tying that in with the beauty of the wood tones. So i think that is going to be an unique feature. Additionally, we have accents, lighting is going to be, you know we're going to have that organic feel but we're also have décor that's going to pop. It’s going to set it apart, it’s going to make it. Again it’s going to bring that sophistication with that organic element. Um, additionally i think what was important to me was to be able to feature local art.
“We're going to have local artists, showcase their artwork throughout the corridors of the hotel. And in the lobby as well. And uh, that to me is very important because we're a beautiful community, the Pocono Mountains and we're going to want to show the beauty and the uniqueness of the Pocono Mountains. So that's important to me. We also worked on the bedrooms. The bedrooms are very important, because you want to be able to have that experience of a gateway, but also again keeping that sophistication. For example, we a local artist who’s actually painting the murals behind the headboards in the bedrooms. People are going to walk into these bedrooms and go wow,” added Trapasso. “It has been an exciting journey. And we can't wait to unveil it. Uh, i think if there were five words that would really explain what this hotel was about. It would be luxury, comfort, a mountain escape, beauty, and pampering.”
“Oh I love that,” said Deanna. “Like when can I reserve my room?”
We hope you enjoyed this preview of just a few of the exciting things that are happening in the Pocono Mountains.
Remember to find all amazing adventures, hotels, restaurants, and even beverage trails.