Water Park of America could soon have new owners – and a new name.
The Star Tribune is reporting that Great Wolf Resorts – the Wisconsin-based waterpark resort chain – is planning to buy the waterpark and the attached Radisson Hotel in Bloomington, and will be turning it into one of its rustic, cabin-themed resorts.
Great Wolf wouldn't comment on plans to buy the waterpark when GoMN asked. But according to documents filed with the City of Bloomington on behalf of the company, it has plans to renovate the hotel and waterpark to include a bar in the waterpark area, a ropes course, rock wall and bowling alley.
There are also plans to move around a few guest rooms and change the finishes in rooms, inside the waterpark, and on the outside of the building (see image below). You can see drawings of the changes that might be coming to the eight-floor waterpark and hotel here.
The plan hasn't been approved yet
The plan still has to be approved by the city – it's scheduled to go before the planning commission on Jan. 26, with the city council likely to vote on (and probably approve) the project on Feb. 6, Nick Johnson of the City of Bloomington Planning Commission told GoMN.
It it's approved, the plan would be to close the hotel and waterpark over the summer, with the goal of opening back up in November 2017, Johnson added.
One other thing the sale of the waterpark could mean is who gets to use it. Water Park of America offers day passes, so even if you're not staying in the hotel you can still play at the waterpark (it's something that's been quite popular – the park sold out of many of its passes this week with kids on winter break, according to posts on Facebook.)
But the Star Tribune says Great Wolf typically only allows hotel guests to use its waterparks. It's not clear if that'll be the case for the Bloomington location, too.
Great Wolf Lodge first opened in Wisconsin Dells in 1997, and it has since grown to be one of the largest waterpark operators in the country, with 15 locations in the U.S. and Canada, the company's website says. The Bloomington waterpark will be its first location in Minnesota, but its sixth in the Midwest.