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Blackstone takes 65 per cent stake in Great Wolf

Great Wolf stands to benefit greatly from Blackstone’s world-class insights and expertise in hospitality
– Murray Hennessy

Great Wolf Resorts, which runs 18 family-oriented waterpark and entertainment resorts in the US and Canada, is targeting accelerated growth under a new joint ownership venture that sees hospitality and leisure investor Blackstone Real Estate Partners take a 65 per cent controlling interest in the company.

Blackstone will share ownership with Centerbridge Partners, which is the existing owner of Great Wolf, creating a new US$2.9 bn (€2.64bn, £2.34bn) joint venture.

Tyler Henritze, head of US acquisitions for Blackstone Real Estate, said the company had been impressed by the evolution and growth of the company under Centerbridge’s ownership, with the development of an enriched guest experience and seven new lodges having been opened since 2015.

Describing Blackstone as "one of the most experienced and successful investors in the hospitality and leisure industries", William D. Rahm, a senior managing director and global head of real estate at Centerbridge, said it was also highly supportive of Great Wolf’s growth potential and ability to provide "unparalleled experiences for families".

Murray Hennessy, the CEO of Great Wolf Resorts, commented: "We are pleased to welcome Blackstone as a new member of the Great Wolf pack and excited to begin the next chapter for our rapidly expanding company. Great Wolf stands to benefit greatly from Blackstone’s world-class insights and expertise in hospitality, and values Centerbridge’s continued involvement as we look to further expand the Great Wolf brand with the development of new resorts and enhancements to our renowned immersive family experiences."

Great Wolf's lodges each contain a full-service hotel, indoor waterpark, recreational activities including games rooms and bowling alleys, food and beverage offerings, and themed experiences with the company's own proprietary characters. Its pipeline of expansion includes a new lodge in northern California due to open in 2020.

Great Wolf Resorts  Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX  Blackstone  Centerbridge Partners 
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Great Wolf Resorts, which runs 18 family-oriented waterpark and entertainment resorts in the US and Canada, is targeting accelerated growth under a new joint ownership venture that sees hospitality and leisure investor Blackstone Real Estate Partners take a 65 per cent controlling interest in the company. Blackstone will share ownership with Centerbridge Partners, which is the existing owner of Great Wolf, creating a new US$2.9 bn (€2.64bn, £2.34bn) joint venture.
TAW,VAT
Great Wolf lodges include indoor waterparks and a range of other recreational activities
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