Updated: Mar 19, 2019
So this weekend didn't end how we would've wished it would due to Scoop having an asthma attack prior to heading home. When things got stressful however, several people, namely with Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio, showed that there are still caring individuals out there.
People these days take the time to call or write a business when things go wrong but seldom do when things go right and someone that did a great job should be acknowledged. Below is a letter I sent around 2:30 AM to Great Wolf Lodge. Note it is a long read, but I felt it necessary.
I believe you should keep this in mind next time considering where you may want to travel.
Thanks again GWL.
Dear Great Wolf Lodge Staff,
I will try to make this as short as possible without missing any of the important facts.
So, this weekend went great and we all had a blast discovering things about this region that we never had the chance to experience before! The only snafu was our battery died mid-day Saturday causing an unexpected $250 expense, but it happens and we overcame that obstacle.
Then Sunday happened...
We checked out of the lodge and went on a photo op tour of the Sandusky and Lake Erie Love signs, not knowing how relevant the prior sign would end up being.
After eating at Big Ed's Soda Grill, we planned on heading back to the Lodge to let the kids swim before heading back home to our mundane lives. On the way back, our daughter started complaining about not feeling well and having a shortness of breath. Thinking it was just her allergies, we gave her some medicine and water hoping the symptoms would reverse their course as they normally do, however about an hour later it seemed as if the situation was worsening so we were at a crossroads, head back home and have something happen while we were in the middle of nowhere (no disrespect to Attica), or take her to the ER here in Sandusky.
We chose the latter and my wife decided to drop myself and 4 of the 6 kiddos off at the Lodge while she would go to the ER and pick us up after. Fast forward 5 hours and the waterpark is 30 minutes away from closing and I received a call that they were going to admit our daughter to into the hospital as her breathing had dropped to just south of 90 and she was having an asthma attack and any further delays in bringing her in could have resulted in cardiac arrest.
Here I am with 4 kids in a closing waterpark and no transportation, and a pregnant wife at the hospital with our 2 daughters and we are 3 hours from home! Yes, we were both starting to have a full-blown meltdown. This is where Great Wolf Lodge stepped in!
Now that the kids were starting to realize something was wrong because Mom wasn’t back to pick us up, we went upstairs and the dance party kept them distracted, once that was over, we ordered pizza from a young lady by the name of Amaya I believe. Now she had no clue what was going on at all but she kept me distracted with her small talk and just being courteous, while the kids used their Magiquest wands on each other, because they now feel they are full blown wizards (I am so thankful they decided to cast freeze and quiet spells on each other LOL).
After the food was gone, we waited in the lobby for about 30 minutes and my wife was able to pick us up and bring us to the hospital to see our daughter. This was a gift and a curse as the kids were soooo happy to see her, but when we had to leave without their sister, they literally broke down. All of them and I will tell you a true test of a parent's strength is holding it together when their kids are losing it.
Stuck with the choice of driving 3 hours to drop the kids off with the grandparents or finding a hotel, I gave a ring back to the Lodge and briefly told the gentleman that answered my situation. He quoted me a price of $137 and I decided this would be the best option and headed back over.
I arrived and Chris assisted me with checking-in and was very empathetic towards the situation and surprisingly provided us with a late check-out without me even asking! This really meant a lot to me given all the things that happened today and the fact that this will give us a little more time to figure out the next day as we have no idea when she will be discharged.
After unloading our Tank, as we walked in, he approached and gave me a Great Wolf "Get Well Soon" stuffed animal and said this is for your daughter, I hope she feels better. WOW!
At the time, that gesture, coupled with the others prior put me on the verge of tears, and even now as I write this. It has been a long, rough last few hours of the day and the things that Amaya and Chris did, rather they knew the situation or not, are just things that people no longer do anymore. There is no way I can put into words what these acts of kindness really did for my family at this moment and I felt compelled to make you aware of this right away.
When I checked-in and out (the first times), AJ was the first face I saw and he set the bar high as far as the guest experience and honestly, I felt that he was great, someone that definitely should be the face of a company when it comes to making a guest feel like more than a customer, but actually appreciated. I also thought the bar that he set would only be carried by him, but I can say without a doubt in my mind that AJ isn't an abnormality, but he is the norm, especially after working with Amaya and Chris, and that speaks volumes about a company when they have employees that go above and beyond what is expected. They have made my family customers of Great Wolf Lodge from now on.
Please let them know how much they are appreciated and that this weekend, they made a difference in my family's life.
I thought the catchphrase "Lake Erie Love" was just that, a slogan that would look and sound good when slapped on T-shirts and other merchandise, but I apologize as the above example shows that it's really a way of life!
I know I severely missed my mark when it came to not making this too long, but hopefully you can understand that something as important as what took place today had to be told in full. Thank you all once again, for a great weekend and for making a difference.