Colorado Springs’ first indoor water park and family resort officially opened Jan. 27, with mayor John Suthers and Great Wolf Lodge leaders in attendance to officiate a ribbon-cutting ceremony and shed light on the jobs and new options the resort brings to the area.

The year-round, 10-floor resort at 9494 Federal Drive had a soft opening Dec. 16, allowing locals and tourists to stay in its family-style suites, check out its six dining options and experience its 50,000-square-foot indoor water park.

It’s the company’s 14th resort in North America; the opening coincides with Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.’s 20th anniversary.

“It’s our first resort in Colorado and the Mountain West region,” said James Anderson, general manager of Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs. “We couldn’t be happier with the response both from the community and our guests. The Colorado Springs community has welcomed us with open arms, and for all the families who have visited us, we hope we’ve been able to return the gesture by creating a truly memorable vacation experience.”

The resort has hired 450 staff and is still looking for additional employees. Open positions range from restaurant servers, lifeguards, gift shop attendants and front desk agents. Interested candidates can apply at jobs.net/jobs/great-wolf-lodge/en-us/Search/United-States/location/Colorado/Colorado-Springs/.

In July 2015, Great Wolf Resort, Inc. purchased the unfinished Renaissance hotel in north Colorado Springs for $17.6 million and reconstructed it for $90 million. Along with water slides and 311 suites, the Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs also includes an amusement park with a climbing wall, miniature golf, bowling and ropes course.

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Colorado Springs resident Kelly Parthen visited the resort Jan. 3 with her family and said she had a positive experience.

Parthen participated in a pre-booking special and paid $280 for a one night stay.

“You can tell Great Wolf Lodge really thought through a family destination experience from both the children’s and parents’ viewpoints,” she said. “As a business owner, customer service is paramount to me and I have high expectations. Great Wolf Lodge met [my] lofty expectations, as every staff member I interacted with was responsive, engaged and solution-oriented.”

Parthen, co-founder of Bean Sprouts in Colorado Springs, said she sensed a great work culture among team members at the resort and appreciates that it’s providing jobs for local high school and college students.

“As we were standing in line for a slide, my own kiddos [age 10 and 12] mentioned they would one day love to work there,” she said. “It’s also great for the community because the city is lacking good indoor spots for families during the winter months, as most cities our size have a children’s museum or a science center.”

Parthen said she would stay at Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs again but wishes the water park wasn’t reserved exclusively for guests.

“I understand why they do it, to control crowds, but it would be awesome if there weren’t a limited number of day passes available so you didn’t necessarily have to stay overnight to take part in the fun,” she said.