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“LOVE GRIZZLY JACKS!!!”

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Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Reviewed November 8, 2011

My family and I have been here twice and have an upcoming reservation soon. Our rooms have been clean-no problems there. My girls (6 and 5) love the waterpark and amusement park. Double bonus on the weekend is a movie. Staff have always been great! Slightly surprised that breakfast isn't included so plan on $5/$6 a person extra. We always have dinner at the amusement park and food is great! My only thing that I have been thinking about since I confirmed my reservation this last time is the price. We just were there in May 2011, same night, same amount of people and the price was more. I called to just see if they could match what I paid last time and they wouldn't. I will tell you I was surprised by this. I wasn't asking to take $100 dollars off or anything. Still thinking on what to do. All in all my family LOVES it here and have never had any problems. Perfect for the kiddos!!!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Lindsay Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2011

Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort and for taking the time to write a review! We truly value your opinion and feedback. We love our loyal guests and can't wait to have you back again soon! To address your concerns you're welcome to contact our Assistant General Manager, Brett Sullivan, at bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com.

We encourage you to stay updated on upcoming offers and events by visiting our Facebook page! We're going to be having a contest soon so keep an eye out for that! Have a Grand holiday!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,232 - 1,238 of 1,818 reviews

Reviewed November 7, 2011

I love Grizzly Jacks. Grand Bear Falls and Enchanted Forest are sooooooooo fun. I want to have a birthday party there. I wish I could come back soon. The cabins are lovely. The lodge is awesome. I love it there.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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Thank C C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2011

Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort and for taking the time to write a review! We truly value your opinion and feedback.We're so glad to hear you had such a Grand time! Happy guests make us happy!

We encourage you to stay updated on upcoming offers and events by visiting our Facebook page! Hope to have you back again in the future. Have a Grand day!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2011

We just returned from a Thurs-Sat trip to Utica. We stayed at Grizzly Jack's and, overall, were very pleased with our first time stay. We had a special for two nights, starting on Thursday and both on the website and on the phone they were sure to mention the limited hours- waterpark is only open 4-10 on Thursday, Still water(no slides) 9-4 Friday and most restaurants and the indoor amusement parks didn't open until Friday. That said, we pretty much had the water park to ourselves on Thursday. It was a little more crowded Friday evening and by Saturday at 9 was really crowded. I can't imagine how packed it would be during prime season. The water park was fun for my 5 and 7 year old, although the 5 year old was disappointed that she couldn't ride the waterslides(48 in height restriction), except for the baby slides. It does seem small in relation to the number of rooms, even just in the lodge, not to mention the villas in the outbuildings. If you go in the winter, you should know that only the lodge is attached to the waterpark. We played miniature golf while we were there and the first time, there were leaves and sticks all over the greens(to be expected in fall, of course). Our balls became trapped in a tube with leaves and I had to return to the lodge to let them know. Within about 5 minutes a maintenance man, Kurt, came and used the leaf blower to blow out the stuck balls, as well as apologize for the condition of the course, blow off all the greens and offer us a complimentary round of mini-golf. We thought that the staff were all friendly and helpful. The indoor amusement park is on par with traveling carnivals- kiddie coaster, carousel, kiddie rides, one or two thrill rides for big kids. The rides were all free with a wristband from the lodge. We even got to ride a train over to the amusement park-just ask at the front desk. The amusement park attendants were all attentive and we rarely had to wait to ride anything. We had the breakfast buffet(all they offer) at the Honey Pot Cafe at the lodge, it was fine-eggs, sausage, french toast sticks, biscuits and gravy. Overall, we had a great time and would consider going back.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Caroline-Pekin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2011

Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort and for taking the time to write a review! We truly value your opinion and feedback.

We encourage you to stay updated on upcoming offers and events by visiting our Facebook page! Hope to have you back again in the future. Have a Grand day!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2011

Just OK, for sure not worth the $250 we paid for our room (1 night family suite). No "wow" factor what so ever. Next time we go to Starved Rock we will either stay at the Starved Rock Lodge or drive home. Not really a resort in the classic sense. Food quality is very poor and limited, with no choices outside of the resort to eat at (unless you want to drive 10 miles to Ottowa). Everything is overpriced. Staff also looked miserable, especially in the water and amusement parks. Next time we want a water park/theme park we will drive the extra hour to Wisconsin Dells or go to Six Flags.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2011

We’re very glad you chose Grizzly Jacks’ and we appreciate your feedback and your opinion. Our goal is for your stay here to be a GRAND memory. As a result of guest feedback future changes are able to be made.

You addressed a concern with the lack food options in the area. If you stay at Starved Rock Lodge you'd experience the same concern. Please understand there are multiple restaurant options right in downtown Utica including Skoogs, Joy & Ed's, Canal Port, Duffy's and more. Hopefully you'll visit us again and check out some of these food locations!

Regarding the waterpark staff, our management goes through weekly culture and character training which they pass on to their employees at post shift meetings. The lifeguards may seem unfriendly because their main focus is on the water and maintaining safety. If they came off as rude we do apologize and will look into this issue.

We hope that you’ll check back with us and hopefully you’ll return again so we can turn your dissatisfaction into happiness! Please consider visiting our Facebook pages to stay updated on future events and offers. Thanks and have a Grand holiday!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2011

ResearchTHOROUGHLY the hours for waterpark, amusement park and restaurant. We mistakenly assumed since it was an indoor park that it was open year-round throughout the day. If we knew they restricted the hours, we wouldn't have come up during the week, The jacuzzi was shut down, we were given 3 towels for 6 people and our dirty linens and garbage sat outside our room until dinnertime. There is no literature in the rooms to provide helpful information about the lodge itself; no security peepholes in the door. On a positive note, it's right next to Starved Rock so we ended up taking the kids hiking there until the amusement park opened. The inflatables were inflated, but closed. The only reason you waited in line to ride at the amusement park was because the few operators they had were running other rides. Most of the operators were very young which raised some eyebrows in our group. The whole lodge itself was neat and tidy but the beds were horrible...you felt like you were sleeping downhill. The breakfast was poor, and it was unknown if it was buffet because you are given styrofoam ware and no options to get a clean plate if you wanted seconds. The kids (under 5) had a good time but I wouldn't recommend for teens because there's just not enough to keep them interested.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Lisa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2011

We’re very glad you chose Grizzly Jacks’ and we appreciate your feedback and your opinion. Our goal is for your stay here to be a GRAND memory. As a result of guest feedback future changes are able to be made.

You addressed a concern with the lack of literature in the room about the resort itself. At check in you should have received a publication called Lodge Life. This has all the information about the resort, the Enchanted Forest, and current events taking place. We hand these out at check in rather than leaving them in the room because we update them so often. We want to give you the most up to date information!

Regarding the buffet plates at breakfast, you are welcome to ask the front desk for another place upon your second round of the buffet.

We hope that you’ll check back with us and hopefully you’ll return again so we can turn your dissatisfaction into happiness! Please consider visiting our Facebook pages to stay updated on future events and offers. Thanks and have a Grand holiday!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Great location, being so close to Starved Rock State Park, however we were overall very disappointed with our stay. VERY overpriced, for what you get. The room was clean, however the water from the sink and shower smelled like sewage. The waterpark was closed over the weekend that we stayed at the resort (the hotel WAS very good about calling ahead of time and informing us of the closure, and gave us free breakfast and free miniature golf/extended hours at the amusement park) so we decided to make the trip. The miniature golf was nice, though very run down. The amusement park was fun, however many of the games were broken, and while trying to find someone from the gaming department to fix a game I was actually yelled at by a gaming department employee (Tonya) and told that she was too busy to help me. A very nice gentleman came over to help fix the games shortly after, and apologized for his coworker that was 'just very stressed out', but this was still very inappropriate. We were also scolded for being 'too loud' while visiting with other couples in the resort after everything shut down. I understand that this facility is geared towards children, however they should really have an area where adults can visit later in the evening and not have to worry about talking 'too loudly' during quiet hours. We were offered a free stay(credit) for a future visit when the waterpark is open, since it was closed during our visit, however I doubt that we will use it.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank JohnsonFam_6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2011

We’re very glad you chose Grizzly Jacks’ and we appreciate your feedback and your opinion. Our goal is for your stay here to be a GRAND memory. As a result of guest feedback future changes are able to be made.

We deeply apologize for the issue you had in the Enchanted Forest Amusement Park. The issue that you have addressed is not tolerable and will be addressed promptly.

We hope that you’ll check back with us and hopefully you’ll return again so we can turn your dissatisfaction into happiness! Please consider visiting our Facebook pages to stay updated on future events and offers. Have a Grand holiday!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2011

The outside of the resort is beautiful, lobby is nice as well. Staff need some classes on manners and professionalism. Rooms are nicely decorated in the same log cabin decore. We rented a combo room package regular room with a second room with large bed and whirlpool tub. Nice a big for 4 people. two friges, two microwaves, two tvs no tv guide or channel guide, No kleenex so bring your own. Also BAD smell of well water using sink and whirlpool tub. In this day and time you can fix this smell problem but they choose not to. Costs too much!..Checked in on Thursday and room was clean untill you look around. Many things missed. Hairs still in whirlpool tub!!,Table still had sticky stuff all over. Waterpark opened at 4 used it but the hot tub was closed. That pissed me off because I asked the lady before reserving the room on Last wednesday if everything was functional and she said yes to find out that the management wrote up a letter on the October 20 2011 saying the tub was closed for maintenace even though nobody worked on it while we were there. {Seee other posts about hot tub closing}. I should have been notified of this before reserving a room. When I asked the desk about the closing she didn't even know it was closed. Poor management. Friday woke up and the kids {12 and 8} wanted to go to the waterpark again but it is "still" untill 4:00. STILL ?? No jets,waterslides, ect just pool. Look at hours of operations it says in small words "still" pool only. They can't employe people to lifeguard the waterpark area untill 4. School kids with the personaity of a rock. All but two were worthless say hello and you get a head nod. Jeff was very nice and shawn too the rest i would let go. Jeff is leaving on sunday to go back to Indianoplis best of luck to him!!. Waterpark was ok no lines for waterslides which need lights inside at night. Pool area was cold during the STILL hours{ that still pisses me off}but at 3:00 the heat came on to warm up waterpark area before opening. They have rags over vents so you see when heat is on. We used the amusement park last night {Friday} since it wasnt open on thursday. back to employing people. Rides were nice some came from Santa's Village and Kiddeland which brought back memories since we live close to those old places that are now gone. Pizza was ok $17.00 each for two large pizzas wit cheese and sausage. Not alot of sausage but Ok . Drinks were ok but high priced. Inflatable outside playland was opened too but the big fun looking one was closed. No mini golf Too high . No horse back riding no horses.
The worst part of the trip besides the already mentioned stuff was thrsday night our first night the room next to us had a hot tub and the two people inside used it 4 times starting at 11 then 12 then 1 then 2:30. Each time it sounded like a jet engine was taking off. WAY TOO LOUD PERIOD!!!! I'm not being over picky it was a joke. The walls are a stucco finish which most hotels have concrete walls but this one has hollow walls which you hear EVERYTHING going on next door. With a beautiful four post big bed squiking you hear everything. I'm glad my kids feel asleep after each tub filling and they were two rooms over and they heard it with the doors semi closed. My wife and I didn't sleep all but an hour and a half. I told the front desk and got a "sorry". Then my son wanted to use our tub, we filled it opened the windows to air out the sink from the water, pressed the tub button and nothing happened. After finding out later there is a gfi reset button on the wall by the sink plus who ever repaired it last put the button on backwards. Told the desk we were going to the state park for 3 hours and please fix tub they said ok. Came back {park was awesome}tub not fixed. Went to desk and was told maintenance was very busy{of coarse not on the hot tub}and they would send somebody. 30 minutes later he showed up and fixed it. Very nice guy . Called the manager explained everything that happened over night and up to then Brett {manager} said he would move us to a villa {using the shuttle basically a train with cars no thanks} or give us 50 % off our next stay. I said we were not planning on returning ever then i said 50 % off this stay he said no. I said no to his offer. I made sure nobody was in the room next to us last night so we could get some sleep or we were going to check out last night and drive home late. Checked out at 9 this morning with the cleaning people pushing us to leave.

Not a very pleasant stay at all . Management needs a housecleaning with new mindset. They need to remember without customers they have no jobs. I've already told a lot of people of my stay. If you go first read all info on the website EVERY WORD. then bring bottled water, kleenex, hair conditioner{we didn't shower the sink of the water} and extra toilet paper. We had one and half rolls per room. They charge for extra toilet paper read other posts!!.

The DEells have there problems too but they have tons of things to do all the time. Waterparks are open all the time. Restaurants very close. People are very friendly.
If you want the Dells atmosphere, go to the Dells. If management changes here might not be so bad, but stay away from whirlpools rooms. Also very noisy halls no enforcement of running and screaming kids POOR Management again!! They also charge a $9.95 resort fee each day.

Room Tip: Read all reviews then check out other hotels and plan ahead
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank jbclandscapinginc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2011

The Grizzly Jack’s team is very sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with your most recent stay at Grand Bear Resort. First I would like to take a moment to address the subject of manners and service at the resort. Our managers go through weekly culture and character training at our staff meetings which they then pass on to employees at pre-shift meetings. We do strive to maintain great customer service with enthusiastic and respectful employees. As this was not the case in your experience we do apologize and will further address this issue.

The bad smell of the water is a project we are currently working on. The sulfur smell is due to the fact that our water comes from a well. We are working on water purification but this takes time. Please accept our apologies on this matter.

We regret and apologize for the unusual and yet unsatisfactory experience you suffered particularly with the table and hot tub in your room. The fact that you were not provided with the level of service we strive to deliver is most disappointing to us. We are embarrassed that the practices we strive for daily did not occur during your visit. Please know these issues are being looked into and will be addressed.

Additionally, we want you to know you do not have to pay for extra toilet paper. We simply do not stock the rooms with more than necessary. You are always welcome to call the front desk and they will supply you with a few more rolls.

We’re very glad you chose Grizzly Jack’s and sorry to hear of your poor experience. Your experience is certainly not any representation of the level of quality we strive to maintain. We hope you'll accept our deepest apologies. Our manager, Brett, has informed us that he did indeed offer you an upgrade which you did not accept. We hope you'll give us another chance and return in the future.

As a result of guest feedback future changes are able to be made. We hope that you’ll check back with us and hopefully you’ll return again so we can turn your dissatisfaction into happiness! We also encourage you to visit our Facebook pages to stay updated on future events and offers. Have a Grand day!

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Additional Information about Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort

Address: 2643 N State Route 178, Utica, IL 61373
Location: United States > Illinois > Utica
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Price Range: $62 - $216 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 272
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort offers skin-drenching fun all year long right in the beautiful setting of Starved Rock State Park. Located just 90 minutes from Chicago or the Quad Cities and an hour from Bloomington or Rockford, our 60 wooded acres offer all of nature's wonders. This includes Grand Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark, beautiful lodge accommodations, as well as our 1800 sq. ft. vacation villas and luxurious 2800 sq. ft. cabins. Enjoy a variety of dining options, including wraps, salads, hot sandwiches and made to order pizzas at Jack's Place. During the summer months guests can enjoy a view of nature at our Bear Island Pavilion & Curtis Canyon Deck. Next to Bear Island enjoy our “Castle in the Woods” playground area and test your skills at our 18 hole Canyon Creek Miniature Golf Course. All lodge rooms include a microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer and wi-fi internet access. Our Vacation Villas are a 2-story townhome with a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Our Log Cabins offer 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 3 fireplace, s and an oversized Great Room. Other resort amenities include the Cave Arcade with over 60 games, the Wave Cafe Snack Shop, the Honey Pot Sweet Shop & Grizzly Bean Gourmet Coffee Shop and the Moose Crossing Convenience Store. Our Grand Bear Conference Center includes over 8000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including 6000 sq. ft. of Grand Ballroom space to accommodate your larger functions such as weddings, family reunions and corporate events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grizzly Jack`s Grand Bear Hotel Utica
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Resort
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Hotel

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