Media cries wolf over Lodge expansion

Put those pool noodles away, kids, Harrison Hot Springs is not being eyed as a location for expansion of the Great Wolf Lodge.

A Vancouver media outlet recently reported that the Jim Pattison Group was eyeing up the village as a market to expand their popular resort into Western Canada.

Not exactly true, according to the president of the Pattison Group. “What Keith (Simmonds, GM of Great Wolf Lodge) said was somewhat taken out of context,” Randy Otto told the Observer last week, when interviewed about a possible expansion.

“The question that was asked was ‘are you considering any other properties in Canada?'” Otto said. “The response was that we are always looking for new ideas and new places.”

Simmonds was then asked what types of properties they would be looking at in the Vancouver area market.

“The answer was that these are the types of places Great Wolf looks at,” Otto said, however he denied that Great Wolf was making any moves in this region.

“We have no immediate plans to develop there,” he said.

Some residents saw the article which stated that “In B.C., the Squamish area and Harrison area have been scouted out as possible locations.”

Mayor Ken Becotte hadn’t read the article contacted by this newspaper, but he said the Village has made contact with Great Wolf Lodge in the past.

“We’ve made a few calls to them,” he confirmed, in an effort to promote the resort community.

“I wish they would come to Harrison,” he said. “And we would welcome them with open arms.”

He wasn’t surprised that the general manager of a big company would be aware of Harrison’s potential.

“We’re getting an awful lot of good press lately,” Becotte said, including being named as one of the top ten beaches in Canada by the website Trip Advisor.

The story also listed Squamish as a possible expansion for Great Wolf Lodge, a hugely popular resort in Niagara Falls. That site opened in 2005, and there are 11 locations in the United States. The resorts feature massive interactive, indoor water parks and a rustic decor and atmosphere.

news@ahobserver.com