Director of International Development
Company: Great Wolf Lodge
Location: Oak Park
Posted on: June 21, 2022
COMPANYGreat Wolf Resorts, Inc., based in Chicago, IL, is North
America's largest family of indoor waterpark resorts and, through
its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns and operates its family
resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge - brand. The first Great Wolf
Lodge resort opened in 1997 in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Great Wolf
Resorts operates 19 resorts across the U.S and another Great Wolf
Lodge location in Niagara Falls, Ontario. These resorts 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 is owned by Blackstone and Centerbridge
Partners. Blackstone is an investment management company.
Blackstone's private equity business has been one of the largest
investors in leveraged buyouts in the last three decades, while its
real estate business has actively acquired commercial real estate.
As of 2020, the company's total assets under management were
approximately $619 billion. Blackstone was founded in 1985 as a
mergers and acquisitions firm by Peter G. Peterson and Stephen A.
Schwarzman. Centerbridge Partners is a global investment management
firm. Centerbridge, founded in October 2005, now manages $30
billion on behalf of pension funds, university endowments and other
wealthy investors. The firm was founded by Jeff Aronson, a former
distressed-debt investor at Angelo, Gordon & Co., and Mark
Gallogly, who once headed the private-equity business at
Blackstone, now the world's largest buyout
The Director of Development will be responsible for the
underwriting and financial analysis of new Great Wolf Lodge resorts
in US and international markets, including Latin America and
Europe. He/She will lead project feasibility analysis, perform
financial underwriting and work with colleagues to ensure that the
models accurately reflect construction cost, scope and overall
business needs as the project evolves. He/She will also assist in
developing a strategic plan for the property.The successful
candidate will have direct responsibility for ensuring that
financial analysis allows senior leadership to make timely and
accurate capital allocation decisions and understand the impact on
project and corporate level returns.This position will report
directly to the Vice President, International Development and
indirectly to the Chief Development Officer. Given the nature of
the position, it is also a requirement that the successful
candidate be able to travel extensively.
Responsibilities include the following:
- Conduct market research in order to determine potential land
- Develop pro forma financial projections for the new property
and model investment returns.
- Facilitate discussions to identify potential sources of project
financing and introduce the project to them.
- Draft and prepare presentations updating Great Wolf's Executive
Management and Investment Committee as to status of
Prospects for this role will have experience underwriting and
providing financial analysis for new development opportunities.
He/She will have worked closely with an investment committee
throughout the early stages of the potential deal and be capable of
representing the deal to IC to achieve approval. Experience working
closely with construction on scope, budget and schedule is
important. Property exposure to resort or hospitality is preferred;
however is not an absolute requirement. Additional requirements are
- Minimum of five years commercial real estate development
finance experience, preferably within the hospitality, retail,
restaurant, mixed-use, or entertainment sectors.
- Alternatively, experience with real estate consulting firms or
commercial brokers, with extensive transactional experience in
resorts/hospitality would be of interest.
- Experience with feasibility, underwriting, modeling and
financial analysis of developments sites, and the development of
complex and multi-faceted projects.
- Strong sense of urgency, self-starter, proactive.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and prioritize
dynamic workload for multiple, concurrent projects while working
with high level of urgency/tenacity to drive meaningful progress on
each of the opportunities identified.
- Creative thinker, collaborator and strong understanding of real
estate development structures.
- Problem solving skills.
- Strong orientation to detail and quality of work.
- A concise, clear and effective communication style.
- A strong results orientation, a high energy level, a strong
presence, a good sense of humor, a love for work, and a desire to
- Superior interpersonal skills:
- Ease in working with people up and down the organization
- Naturally adaptive to different audiences.
- Diplomatically assertive.
- Strong sense of integrity and ethics. Values
entrepreneurialism. Demonstrates strong intellectual curiosity;
always seeking new approaches and challenging the organization to
new levels of success.
- Excellent writing and organizational skills, with the ability
to produce high quality reports and analysis in a timely
- Ability to persevere in the face of challenges, and exhibit a
relentless commitment to higher standards.
- Communication of timelines, milestones, decision lead times,
and status updates.
- Demonstrated strong organizational skills.
- Organized, structured and disciplined.
- Hands on orientation and mind set.EDUCATION
- Undergraduate degree required, post graduate degree (MBA,
Architecture or Real Estate related studies) preferred.Equal
Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with
DisabilitiesThe contractor will not discharge or in any other
manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they
have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the
pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have
access to the compensation information of other employees or
applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot
disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals
who do not otherwise have access to compensation information,
unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or
charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding,
hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the
employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to
furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
Keywords: Great Wolf Lodge, Oak Park , Director of International Development, Accounting, Auditing , Oak Park, Illinois
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