2015 in review: The top stories in Colorado Springs

What used to be an abandoned hotel, is now a busy construction scene. The Renaissance hotel in northern Colorado Springs has stood empty and partially finished since about 2009 after a developer ran out of money. This past summer, the site was purchased by Great Wolf Lodge, a Wisconsin water park operator, which said it plans to finish construction of the hotel AND will build a water park on the site. Thursday, December 3, 2015JERILEE BENNETT/THE GAZETTE

The new owner of the former Renaissance Hotel on Colorado Springs' north side has launched a multi-million-dollar transformation of the property, starting work in recent weeks on the planned water park resort.

Wisconsin-based Great Wolf Resorts, an operator and developer of water parks nationwide, has updated its timetable for the family-style resort - now saying the complex will open in November, just east of Interstate 25 and InterQuest Parkway. In addition to the water park and hotel, it will include restaurants, children's entertainment and meeting space.  

"The project is on time and the construction is moving along," spokeswoman Susan Storey said recently in an email. She did not respond to additional questions about the status of work at the site. The initial work being done includes the water park's foundation and the completion of the hotel.

In July, Great Wolf paid $18 million to buy the Renaissance, which was only about half finished when its original developer ran out of money in October 2009. The hotel had stood idle since that time and was boarded up partially.

Great Wolf then announced it would spend $90 million (which included the purchase price) to complete the hotel and build a water park. The hotel will have 311 rooms while the indoor water park will cover 65,000 square feet, Great Wolf said. The complex will be for hotel guests only.

Other amenities will include an arcade, miniature golf course, mini bowling alley, rope-climbing attraction, spa and other activities for kids; four to five restaurants; and more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space. The complex will employ 400 to 500 full- and part-time people, Great Wolf said at the time it announced the project.

In September, Great Wolf's general contractor pulled its first building permit, which included the demolition of a conference center that had been built as part of the Renaissance, according to Pikes Peak Regional Building Department records. The water park now is being built where the conference center stood, on the hotel's east side.

Last month, the general contractor pulled permits for construction of the water park's foundation and for work on the hotel.

Sign Up for Springs AM Update

Your morning rundown of the latest news from Colorado Springs and around the country

Success! Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

The Regional Building Department now is reviewing plans for the project submitted by Great Wolf.

The resort will become part of the InterQuest Marketplace commercial center, which already includes a 14-screen Regal movie theater complex, the Summit entertainment center, Cheddar's Casual Cafe, Colorado Mountain Brewery, a Kum & Go convenience store and a 180-room Drury Inn & Suites hotel.

"From a marketing standpoint, we're excited to see them (hotel and water park) completed for the benefit of our project and for the benefit of the community as well," said Fred Veitch, a vice president with Nor'wood Development Group, InterQuest Marketplace's developer. "Great Wolf is considered the leader of the water park business."


Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228

Twitter: @richladen

Facebook: Rich Laden

Load comments