Great Wolf Celebrates One-year Anniversary of Project Green Wolf with Green Seal Certification

On the one-year anniversary of the company's Project Green Wolf, Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., North America's largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, celebrated its distinction as the first and only national hotel chain to have all properties achieve the Green Seal Certification — Silver for the lodging portion of its 10 Great Wolf Lodge brand resorts and its Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center in the United States. Additionally, Great Wolf Lodge — Niagara Falls received a four leaf Green Leaf Eco-Rating from the Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program in Canada.

In 2007, Great Wolf Resorts started reducing energy and water usage across its properties as part of the Green Seal Certification process. After implementing a variety of energy-saving business practices, the company is proud to report a reduced electricity consumption of more than 1.5 million kWH in 2009. Gas usage was also reduced by 234,806 Therms for the year. Lastly, reduced water usage resulted in an overall savings of nearly 4.5 million gallons in 2009.

"The proof is in the numbers," says Kim Schaefer, chief executive officer of Great Wolf Resorts. "The changes we made to the lodging portion of our business certainly had a positive impact on our bottom line, but more importantly, we're setting the bar for sustainability within our industry. It's our way of making every day Earth Day at Great Wolf Lodge."

Greening waterparks
Although the Green Seal Certification only applies to the lodging portion of Great Wolf Resorts, the company is also dedicated to creating "greener" waterparks through its Project Green Wolf, a program launched in 2009 that includes guidelines for the waterpark and other resort amenities. Key areas of the program include: management of fresh water resources, waste minimization, energy efficiency, environmentally and socially sensitive purchasing, and guest education. Two of the company's locations — Sandusky, Ohio and Grand Mound, Washington — participate in on-site composting, which has kept thousands of tons of food waste out of local landfills and is instead being used as fertilizer.

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of Project Green Wolf, Great Wolf guests were invited to enjoy a variety of new Cub Club activities centered around sustainable fun. Developed in partnership with National Geographic Kids, activities included Energy Exploration, a series of touch and feel displays for families to experience ways they can create and conserve energy, and Green Scene, featuring earth-friendly projects for kids including personalized recyclable flower pots.

"We're always looking for ways to expand our edutainment programs," says Schaefer. "The goal of our new Cub Club activities is to make learning about sustainability fun and easy for families. We want to show children that it's easy being green."

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