Great Wolf Resorts named Brian Johnson as the General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge Arizona, slated to open October 17, 2019. Hailing from the portfolio's first-ever lodge in the Wisconsin Dells, Johnson is making the move to lead the pack at the company's newest resort located within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community's Talking Stick Entertainment District.
Johnson begins his next chapter with Great Wolf Lodge and returns to the Arizona hospitality scene boasting three decades of hospitality industry experience, having previously held roles at both the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.
"Brian's knowledge and experience within the Scottsdale market, coupled with his proven track record with Great Wolf Lodge make him the ideal choice to lead the opening and on-going operation of our first resort in Arizona," said Mark Rucker, Senior Vice President of Operations for Great Wolf Resorts. "Brian's helped countless families make lifelong memories at our Wisconsin Dells location, and we're excited to have him set a new standard for family entertainment with our Arizona resort."
Johnson was previously the General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells, responsible for its 80,000-square-foot waterpark and 450 pack members. Prior to joining the organization, he held the position of Managing Director for several years at the DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore & Coco Key Water Park where he oversaw the property's acquisition between management groups. Johnson previously spent more than 15 years with the Loews corporation, managing resorts at Universal Studios in Orlando, Tucson and Coronado, California.
Throughout his career, Johnson has been awarded the highest recognitions for his contributions, including AZTLA Hotelier of the Year in 2006, Loews General Manager of the Year in 2008, Loews Hotel of the Year in 2009 and AHLA State Leadership Award in 2011. Aside from his long list of achievements in the tourism sector, Johnson was awarded Father of the Year – Father's Day Council Tucson – Steele Children's Research 2007; an honor that truly speaks to his ability to bring joy to families.
"I'm overjoyed to be continuing my career with Great Wolf Lodge at our newest location in Arizona," said Johnson. "The buzz for our fall opening has been exhilarating, and I am looking forward to opening the area's first-ever indoor waterpark resort. Our focus is to make Great Wolf Lodge Arizona a destination beloved by families across the Southwest and with our unique under-one-roof design, we're a resort that families can enjoy year-round."
Great Wolf Lodge Arizona will be a first-class family destination featuring 350 guest rooms, an 85,000-square-foot indoor waterpark - heated to a comfortable 84 degrees all year long and a 27,000-square-foot Adventure Park. The resort sits on 18 acres adjacent to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, located within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community's Talking Stick Entertainment District.
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