MADISON, Wis., May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — In time for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, which marks the start of the summer travel season, Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. ® (NASDAQ: WOLF), North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, has received accolades for exceeding industry standards in water safety from Ellis & Associates, Inc., an industry-leading organization specializing in aquatics safety and risk management.
While all of the company’s 11 Great Wolf Lodge® locations received recognition for their aquatics safety programs, three received elite honors by achieving “Platinum” status: Great Wolf Lodge – Williamsburg, Virginia; Great Wolf Lodge – Grand Mound, Washington; Great Wolf Lodge – Grapevine, Texas. In addition, three Great Wolf Lodge lifeguards were recognized as Ellis & Associates Golden Guards for the first quarter of 2011: Kathy Bickle and Heather O’Camb from Great Wolf Lodge – Grand Mound, as well as Kelly Brannum from Great Wolf Lodge – Grapevine. Only eight individuals were named for this nationwide honor, which recognizes lifeguards who embody ideal qualifications.
“This great recognition reflects our team’s commitment and understanding that fun and safety both play big roles in creating lifelong memories,” said Franceen Gonzales, vice president of aquatics and risk management for Great Wolf Resorts and former chairperson of the World Waterpark Association. “We are dedicated to helping children of all ages establish a healthy respect for water in a fun and memorable way.”
With May being recognized as National Water Safety Month, which was established by the World Waterpark Association, the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, and the National Recreation & Park Association, Gonzales points to tips from the annual campaign designed to educate the public about the importance of being “water aware.”
“Statistics say that more than one in four fatal drowning victims are children under the age of 14, and it’s upsetting to think that the vast majority of those could have been prevented,” continued Gonzales. “Our greatest allies in this effort are parents and role models who are willing to be our safety partners by reinforcing a few simple, but important guidelines.”
Play Safe Water Safety Tips, from Great Wolf Lodge:
- If your child is in the water, you should be, too. Interact with children while in the water, especially with weak or non-swimming children. This not only increases safety, but it’s also great exercise and creates wonderful family memories.
- Make sure young children and non-swimmers wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets, fastened properly. Inflatable rafts, swim “floaties,” and other inflatable devices are not appropriate life-saving devices.
- Teach kids how to swim by enrolling them in swim lessons. These lessons teach the basics of water safety and awareness, and kids will learn a valuable life-skill while gaining confidence. Check with a local YMCA, Red Cross, parks department, or school district to see if they offer lessons.
- Stay hydrated and be sure to take regular breaks out of the water to stay alert and avoid fatigue. This is especially important if it is hot or humid, and includes indoor waterparks such as Great Wolf Lodge.
- Try to swim where there are trained lifeguards on duty, but remember, parents still need to take responsibility for their children in the water. Lifeguards are trained to monitor the water and react to rescue situations – they are not babysitters or a substitute for parent participation.
About Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. ® (NASDAQ: WOLF), Madison, Wis., is North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, and, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns, licenses and/or operates its family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge® brand. Great Wolf Resorts is a fully integrated resort company with Great Wolf Lodge locations in: Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; the Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Niagara Falls, Ontario; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash.; and Concord, N.C.
The company’s resorts are family-oriented destination facilities that generally feature 300 to 600 rooms and a large indoor entertainment area measuring 40,000 to 100,000 square feet. The all-suite properties offer a variety of room styles, arcade/game rooms, fitness rooms, themed restaurants, spas, supervised children’s activities and other amenities. The company’s consolidated subsidiary, Creative Kingdoms, LLC, is a developer and operator of technology-based, interactive quest adventure experiences such as MagiQuest®.