WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Thursday, a popular Hampton Roads indoor water park resort is reopening its doors after being closed for a little more than five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our purpose is to bring joy to families,” Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg General Manager Nick Licastro said. “We're a very popular regional destination, especially for families who want to plan what is commonly called a 'staycation.'”
Licastro told News 3 the resort typically has between 400 and 500 employees and is ready to welcome them back to work.
“It's been wonderful to see the surge in activity,” he said. “Families who might want to get that last-minute vacation into the summer, or maybe they didn't have the opportunity to travel earlier during the closure period.”
Licastro said they're implementing what they call their "Paw Pledge” program, an initiative focused on health and safety and following guidelines.
“We've been working tirelessly across the organization, both at the property level as well as with our corporate partners, as well as with medical professionals and experts, industry consultants, to make sure we develop a best in class set of safety standards,” Licastro said.
He said sanitizing will be key, face coverings will be required in public areas for everyone over the age of 5 and occupancy will limited by up to 50%.
But that's not the only thing guests can expect.
“We actually have a 10-foot social distancing standard for the water park area that we've implemented,” Licastro said. “We've also done everything we can to eliminate points of surface contact. For example, we've gone completely cashless, so guests won't have to worry about carrying cash or even their card.”
“The wristband also functions as their room key, so we've tried to make things not only safe, but hopefully also even more convenient for families,” Licastro added.
He and other workers hope to give guests peace of mind on their getaway.
“I'm a family person, myself,” Licastro said. “I have a wonderful wife and children, so I can appreciate and understand how sensitive and how important it is for families to have a safe environment and a clean environment.”
For more on Great Wolf Lodge’s Paw Pledge program, click here.