Blackstone to Acquire 65% Controlling Interest in Great Wolf Resorts

USA, New York City, New York. November 07, 2019

Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX, an affiliate of Blackstone (NYSE: BX) ("Blackstone"), and affiliates of Centerbridge Partners, L.P. ("Centerbridge", the existing owner) announced today that Blackstone is acquiring a 65% controlling interest in Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. ("Great Wolf" or the "Company"). Great Wolf is a leading owner and operator of family-oriented entertainment resorts, with 18 resorts around the country. As part of the transaction, Blackstone and Centerbridge will form a new $2.9 billion joint venture to own the Company.

Tyler Henritze, Head of US Acquisitions for Blackstone Real Estate, commented, "We have been very impressed by the evolution and growth of the company under Centerbridge's ownership. With the leadership of its talented management team, Great Wolf has enriched the guest experience and opened seven new lodges since 2015. We look forward to investing in these properties to further deliver for guests and grow the company."

"We are enthusiastic about partnering with Blackstone to continue accelerating the growth of the company," stated William D. Rahm, a Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate at Centerbridge. "Blackstone is one of the most experienced and successful investors in the hospitality and leisure industries, and is highly supportive of Great Wolf's growth potential and each lodge's ability to provide unparalleled experiences for families."

Murray Hennessy, the CEO of Great Wolf Resorts, stated, "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."

Advisors

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. are serving as financial advisors to Great Wolf, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal counsel to Great Wolf.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLC is serving as legal counsel to Blackstone.

Subscribe to our newsletter
for more Hotel Newswire articles

Related News

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close
Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.