GG water park in the works

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BY LOREEN BERLIN: Anyone who's seen the TV show "Undercover Boss" knows about the Great Wolf Lodge and how customer service is the number one priority of the company.

And now, coming to Southern California, and right here in Garden Grove, is the first Southern California Great Wolf Lodge, set to open in early 2016, at 12681 Harbor Blvd. in Garden Grove (just north of Garden Grove Boulevard on north Harbor).

Guests were welcomed at a hard-hat tour last week by Great Wolf Lodge General Manager Phillip Cunningham.

BY LOREEN BERLIN: Anyone who's seen the TV show "Undercover Boss" knows about the Great Wolf Lodge and how customer service is the number one priority of the company.

And now, coming to Southern California, and right here in Garden Grove, is the first Southern California Great Wolf Lodge, set to open in early 2016, at 12681 Harbor Blvd. in Garden Grove (just north of Garden Grove Boulevard on north Harbor).

Guests were welcomed at a hard-hat tour last week by Great Wolf Lodge General Manager Phillip Cunningham.

"We are the curators of incredible traditions and Garden Grove will be the beneficiary of what we have learned in the past from our visitor destinations, which are pure family fun," he said, noting that the project is, "On time and on budget."

Garden Grove Mayor Pro tem Steve Jones said, "The Great Wolf Lodge team has been a terrific business partner in carrying out this unique endeavor for the city."

Jones said the City Council and the City recognized Great Wolf's exceptional leadership in the hospitality industry and thus created a public/private partnership.

"Without a doubt, our most important partnership in any major city development such as this, is our community," Jones said. "What this lodge brings to our community in terms of value is both tangible and intangible.

"Tangible is how it spurs immediate growth in our local economy through job creation (700 employees) and increased tourist spending and the project ensures a solid financial future for Garden Grove."

Jones also said the new project confirms the unyielding spirit and drive of Garden Grove to keep moving forward.

"Garden Grove is a constantly growing and evolving city that recognizes and makes use of its many strengths, which includes low housing-costs, an exceptional school district and its cultural richness."

And of course, Garden Grove beginning next year, will offer a one-of-a-kind water park resort to many visitors who come to the area.

"I know I echo the sentiments of Mayor Bao Nguyen and our City Council, Christopher Phan, Phat Bui, and Kris Beard, when I say we are thrilled to reach completion of this milestone project for early next year," said Jones.

New City Manager Scott Stiles said, "This project is just phenomenal; it's an outstanding project; congratulations and I can't wait for its opening."

The tour guides showed such enthusiasm during the private hard-hat tour last week that it's obvious they love their jobs, and it was contagious as they explained every facet of the new park and had guests do the company's traditional hand claps, foot stomps and "howling" like a wolf.

There was even a contest between two of the touring groups to see who could howl the best and loudest.

The Great Wolf Lodge Southern California is truly going to be a unique vacation destination all  its own for guests of all ages with a focus on children and what entertains them.

In the bottom level, where the 84-degree indoor Great Water Park is located, is also lots of additional fun for kids and their families, which includes slides, different pools and activities that continue throughout the lodge with the lodge's interactive adventure games that start or continue to the kid's sleeping rooms.

There's "Story Time" in the evening for pajama-clad guests, with Great Wolf Lodge characters onboard for the stories, a kids spa and a place for the young ladies and their moms to have a "Scooops" (yes, that's three "o's") sugar-whip strawberry moisturizing body scrub spa. There are other exciting family activities, some of which include MagiQuest, Ten Paw Bowling, Mini Golf and seven dining options.

And it's all under one roof, so guests can play at the lodge, eat, shop, rest and sleep there.

The third-floor is set up away from distraction for conferences and business meetings.

Here are some Lodge stats: The lodge is 100,000-square-feet of indoor water park, with 10 unique water slides and five pools; there are 603 suites, which includes the "exclusive" Great Wolf Kids suite (a cabin inside the room) that houses bunk beds and a TV monitor on which to play a myriad of MagiQuest games with special lighted wands; Wolf Lodge is taking reservations for March 2016, with a 25-percent discount if those reservations are made by the end of September.