Attractions industry news

05 Aug 2019

Great Wolf expanding overseas as operator plans £200m waterpark for Oxfordshire, UK

US waterpark operator Great Wolf Resorts has announced plans to open its first venture overseas, with the Great Wolf Lodge coming to Oxfordshire, UK, in 2022.

Great Wolf, which currently boasts 18 locations across North America, will submit a planning application for the venture later this month, with construction on the £200m (US$242.8m, €217.8m) venture scheduled to take place in 2020.

The proposed site is currently home to the Bicester Golf Course, half of which will be redeveloped to accommodate the 186,000sq m (2,000,000sq ft) development.

According to the proposal, the resort will be anchored by an 8,800sq m (95,000sq ft) indoor waterpark, with an adjoining 5,000sq m (54,000sq ft) adventure park featuring a high ropes course, climbing wall, miniature golf, bowling and an arcade. There will also be a 500-bedroom hotel set over four storeys.

London-based architects EPR are lead designers for the project, with BMD providing landscape architecture, with consultancy DP9 handling planning. According to Great Wolf, the design will "reflect the nature of the site and its location in Oxfordshire".

If the plans gain approval, the golf course and its adjoining hotel and spa will continue to operate, but the course will have only nine holes instead of 18, with new facilities, including an outside swimming lake and a new restaurant developed for the course. A full planning application will be submitted in Q3 2019.

Great Wolf says it expects 500,000 visitors a year, with Bicester chosen because of its transport links. The plans will create 600 full-time jobs when open and 1,350 jobs during the construction phase.

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