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GRAND MOUND, WA-Great Wolf Resorts and the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation have formed a joint venture to develop a family resort and conference center here that will include an indoor water park, restaurants, arcade, confectionary and spa. The proposed $80-million, 380,000-sf development would cover 39 acres adjacent to Exit 88 off Interstate 5. The location is about halfway between Seattle and Portland, OR.As per the JV agreement, Madison, WI-based Great Wolf Resorts will operate the resort under its Great Wolf Lodge brand while the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation will contribute the land needed for the resort. Both parties will maintain equity positions in the joint venture.The four-story, 317-suite resort will include a 65,000-sf indoor water park and entertainment area, a 30,000-sf conference center, multiple restaurants, an arcade, a gift shop, a confectionery, a fitness center and an Aveda Spa. The facilities will only be made available to resort guests.Following the Tribe’s transfer of the land to trust, construction on the building is scheduled to begin this fall with opening slated for late 2006. The resort will be the only one in the Northwest with an indoor water park and one of very few in the Western portion of the state specifically tuned toward families. The Tribes business committee chairman David Burnett says the new resort will be located within 180 miles of nearly eight million people. Great Wolf Resorts chief executive John Emery says the development extends the reach of the company’s brand geographically and furthers its national expansion plans. It is the company’s 10th resort property.”It’s designed as a convenient place for families to take a nice little break,” Emery tells GlobeSt.com. “What we’ve found is people really like the certainty of the experience they will have as well as the exclusivity.”While many families never leave the resort, Emery says the lodges are typically located in areas with other nearby destinations. In this case, that would include Mt. St. Helens and the Chehalis Factory Outlets, he says. The conference center, which is in only two of its properties, is being installed due to the resort’s proximity to the state capitol of Olympia, which is 20 miles up the highway.Great Wolf Resorts owns, manages or is under construction for Great Wolf Lodge locations in: Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ontario. The Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation are located 25 miles Southwest of Olympia in Oakville along the Chehalis River. The Tribes own and operate the Lucky Eagle Casino, two construction companies, two convenience stores and will be opening the 69-room Eagle’s Landing Hotel.

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