VICI Properties Inc. (NYSE: VICI) (“VICI Properties” or the “Company”) announced today that the Company has entered into a strategic arrangement with Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. (“Great Wolf”) (a Blackstone Real Estate (“Blackstone”) portfolio company), whereby VICI Properties may provide certain financing for the construction and development of Great Wolf Lodge resorts throughout the United States.
As part of this arrangement, VICI Properties has agreed to provide a $79.5 million mezzanine loan investment related to the development of the more than $250 million Great Wolf Lodge Mid-Atlantic project in Perryville, MD, which was announced today and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2023. The mezzanine loan has an interest rate of 8% and an initial term of 3 years with two successive 12-month extension options subject to certain conditions. The investment is expected to be funded in accordance with a construction draw schedule.
In addition, pursuant to a non-binding letter agreement, VICI Properties will have the opportunity for a period of up to five years to provide up to a total of $300 million of mezzanine financing for the development and construction of Great Wolf’s extensive domestic and international indoor water park resort pipeline.
David Kieske, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of VICI Properties, said, “This strategic arrangement with Great Wolf, the leading indoor water park resort operator in the U.S., and Blackstone, a global leader in real estate investing, represents the continuation of partnering with the best leisure and hospitality operators in diversifying VICI’s investments and expanding our overall platform. We have studied the indoor water park resort sector extensively and this investment reflects our high conviction in the experiential and operational complexity, resiliency and barriers to entry that make this a very attractive sector for our capital. VICI has a proven track record of working collaboratively with operating partners to creatively structure transactions that work for all parties and we are excited to support the Great Wolf team as they continue to expand the company.”
Great Wolf Lodge Maryland will be a year-round family destination filled with attractions and amenities for all ages. The resort will sit on 48-acres and feature:
- An expansive 126,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, heated to a comfortable 84 degrees and featuring a variety of body slides, tube slides, raft rides, activity pools and splash areas for every member of the family – from toddlers and teens, to parents and grandparents
- A 57,000-square-foot family entertainment center known as the Great Wolf Adventure Park will offer a variety of family-friendly attractions, including MagiQuest – Great Wolf Lodge’s exclusive live-action adventure game where players use interactive magic wands to battle goblins and dragons
- A collection of complimentary family events and activities including Yoga Tails, a morning exercise program that combines tales from animal friends found in the Northwoods with yoga poses, and Great Wolf Lodge’s signature Story Time event, where children gather around the fireplace for a bedtime tale
- Several dining options that will appeal to a variety of culinary styles ranging from pizza and burgers, to upscale dining at Barnwood and premium ice cream treats at Wood’s End Creamery
- Family friendly suites in a variety of categories and styles including Great Wolf themed suites with separate sleeping quarters for kids designed as either a log cabin or wolf den and outfitted with bunk beds and Great Wolf character theming. The resort will also feature approximately 700 rooms, including suites with multiple bedrooms for large families or multi-generational groups
- Approximately 12,000 square-feet of flexible conference space with breakout rooms, built-in A/V technology, customizable catering options and a team of dedicated industry professionals to tend to every meeting need.
About VICI Properties
VICI Properties Inc. is an experiential real estate investment trust that owns one of the largest portfolios of market-leading gaming, hospitality and entertainment destinations, including the world-renowned Caesars Palace. VICI Properties’ national, geographically diverse portfolio consists of 28 gaming facilities comprising over 47 million square feet and features approximately 17,800 hotel rooms and more than 200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs and sportsbooks. Its properties are leased to industry leading gaming and hospitality operators, including Caesars Entertainment, Inc., Century Casinos, Inc., Hard Rock International Inc., JACK Entertainment LLC and Penn National Gaming, Inc. VICI Properties also has an investment in the Chelsea Piers, New York facility and owns four championship golf courses and 34 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip. VICI Properties’ strategy is to create the nation’s highest quality and most productive experiential real estate portfolio. For additional information, please visit www.viciproperties.com.
About Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. is North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, and through its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns, operates and develops family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge brand. Great Wolf lodges provide an immersive entertainment experience suitable for the entire family in all seasons and all weather with interactive water experiences and vibrant family entertainment. All lodges are strategically located within a four-hour drive of major metropolitan markets with attractive demographic profiles.
Great Wolf Resorts opened its first location in 1997 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin and is a fully integrated resort company with locations in: Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash., Fitchburg, Mass., Charlotte, N.C.; Garden Grove, Calif., Colorado Springs, Colo., Bloomington, Minn., LaGrange, Ga., Gurnee, Ill.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Manteca, Calif.
About Blackstone Real Estate
Blackstone is a global leader in real estate investing. Blackstone’s real estate business was founded in 1991 and has $196 billion of investor capital under management. Blackstone is one of the largest property owners in the world, owning and operating assets across every major geography and sector, including logistics, multifamily and single family housing, office, hospitality and retail. Our opportunistic funds seek to acquire undermanaged, well-located assets across the world. Blackstone’s Core+ strategy invests in substantially stabilized real estate globally through regional open-ended funds focused on high-quality assets and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (BREIT), a non-listed REIT that invests in U.S. income-generating assets. Blackstone Real Estate also operates one of the leading global real estate debt businesses, providing comprehensive financing solutions across the capital structure and risk spectrum, including management of Blackstone Mortgage Trust (BXMT).
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. You can identify these statements by our use of the words “assumes,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “guidance,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “will,” and similar expressions that do not relate to historical matters. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. You should exercise caution in interpreting and relying on forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond the Company’s control and could materially affect actual results, performance, or achievements. Important risk factors that may affect the Company’s business, results of operations and financial position (including those stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the economic conditions as a result thereof and the ability of the parties to negotiate and reach agreement upon definitive documentation with respect to any potential future transactions described herein) are detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.