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Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Reviewed December 20, 2012

we have been here several times. very reasonable price. tons of fun for kids of all ages. we went last year for christmas and are doing it again every year for years to come. love the feel and remote location. my kids are always happy with the multiple activities.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Debbie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 3, 2013

Debbie S-
Thank YOU for such a GRAND review! We are extraordinarily glad that your family enjoyed their stay this holiday season and are making Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort a tradition! Our goal is to keep smiles nice and big and exceed your families expectations. It's wonderful to hear that memories were made and look forward to returning! We cannot wait to accommodate your family again soon! Check back again to see the new and extravagant adventures we have in store for you all!
Warmest Regards,
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort Management & Staff

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1,033 - 1,039 of 1,807 reviews

Reviewed December 17, 2012

We have been to Grand Bear Resort a handful of times. Our second experience was terrible. The switches to turn on the fireplace are easily accessed by toddlers and in 5 seconds the glass gets HOT to the touch. The 15 month old with us was badly burned. I let the staff know and they were nice enough to send me a certificate to come back another time since we didn't get much use out of the resort after the baby was burned. When we went back the third time, NOTHING was done to prevent the switch being turned on. No safety sign, no child proof lock on it. The pool was freezing, the kids aren't allowed in the hot tub to warm up. Other waterparks we have been to have a family hot tub that kids can go in. Its a waterpark for children, I don't understand why the kids can't go in? We also had to wait hours to check-in after we were told we could check-in early.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank ashleyn984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Social Media Coordinator at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2012

Dear Ashley N,
Our team at Grizzly Jack’s strives to serve our guests to complete satisfaction. We highly value your feedback and appreciate you taking time to bring these issues to our attention. Responses like this help us to continue to improve. We hope that you’ll accept our deepest apologies as we regret your disappointment with your experience here. We would be most grateful if we could better understand your experience here and would like to renew your impression of our resort. Please contact us at bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com .
Best Regards,
Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort Management and Staff

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Reviewed December 16, 2012

Very disappointed. The waterpark was cold! VERY COLD! The water was fair, but freezing when you got out. My kids lips were blue. Maybe the other reviews were from people who go when its not cold outside---because they keep the windows open all the time. They were open the whole weekend and it was 38 degrees outside!! We could only stay for about an hour at a time before i had to bring the kids back to the room and give them a hot bath to warm them up. The rest of the place is like a kids casino. Games everywhere,costing 2-4 tokens each (token = 25 cents). The Amusement park is a nice long cold hike across two parking lots, and the only thing included with your wristband are the bounce houses and rides. 2 rides for ages 7 and over and maybe 3 rides for 6 and under. The place is filled with casino type and arcade games that shoot out tickets. We spent $20 and my kids got a spider ring and a sucker. I am not a fan of Chuck E. Cheese, but if you are, and love feeding those machines with gobs of money, this is the place for you. As for us, we will never be back! Oh, and if you are expecting any kind of free food, forget it. The breakfast buffet is 7.95 for adults and 4.95 for kids 3 and over. $ 25 bucks just for a crummy breakfast. Believe me, the free stuff will only occupy your children for about 2-3 hours, then what? Thats exactly how they planned it, the kids are bored, so you have to spend tons of money. A total rip off!

Room Tip: We stayed in the family suite and it was fine. None of the rooms have coffee makers, but the front...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Meaghan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Social Media Coordinator at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2012

Dear Meaghan H,
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 this is not currently the case please contact bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com As a result of guest feedback future change are able to be made. We hope that you check back with us and hopefully you’ll return again so we can turn your dissatisfaction into happiness!
Best Regards,
Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort Management and Staff

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Reviewed December 16, 2012

I had such hope for this trip. Its such a needed place for Midwest families to get away. The first time I took my son for 3 days two nights. It cost us $350 to stay at the resort witout taxes, gratuaty, food cost, gas for the drive, and any extra entertainment. When we got there, the waterpark was closed for the entire trip due to some state mandate that they weren't up to code. We weren't offered our money back but they still had the amusement park open and gave us a voucher for a free stay in the future. Even though we were disappointed, it was still a good time. We went again this weekend to use the voucher as it was almost expired. This time the waterpark was open. The water was cold and the kids we're running wild. There was apparently a wedding at the resort and they weren't staffed appropriately. There were literally children with dress clothes sliding on the yellow slide. Not one staff member said anything to the parents or the children. The chlorine was thick in the pool but I think that's a good thing. At least I know they use it. There are sign's posted in the kiddy pool and hot tub saying for safety and enjoyment they would be drained twice a day. In the two days we were there they did not drain either pool and the hot tub really needed it because there was what seems like sand at the bottom of it. The wave pool was fun and the lazy river was too. The amusement park was biggest let down ever. From the time we went last year to now they got rid of a lot of rides including the mary-go-round and the little dragon roller coaster to make room for a few bounce houses and a zip line and lazer tag that they charge $20 a person for. The breakfast was really very sad. Some scrambled eggs and pre formed frozen pancakes that cost $34. I actually laughed when the young girl told me the total. All of the staff looks to be 21 or under and really have the young condescending attitude that goes with inexperience. A young man running a tilt a whirl got mad when he couldn't figure out how to set the safety and literally slammed the gate shut in my sons face as he was entering the ride. Honestly, I don't think we will go back. We've been twice now and it gets worse each time.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank luvlymom27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Social Media Coordinator at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2012

Dear Luvlymom27,
The Grizzly Jack’s team is very sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with your most recent stay at Grand Bear Resort. The issues that you addressed are not tolerable and will be addressed promptly. Our goal is for everyone to have a GRAND stay while here and an overall enjoyable experience. Since we did not accomplish this during your stay please contact bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com .
Best Regards,
Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort Management and Staff

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Reviewed December 14, 2012

Our second stay at the Grand Bear Resort. Our 16 year old son with autism loves this place. The indoor water park has a wave pool, which most smaller indoor parks don't. Our son loves it and the slides and the lazy river. Hot tub was broken the weekend of December 8, which did not make my sore husband happy... As a side note, they make good bloody mary's in the consession stand!

The amusement area is perfect for us. I agree with the previous reviewer that it can be a bit confusing when there is not enough staff to man the rides.

The rooms are clean, but "tired" looking. The lighting in the rooms is not sufficient. And, since this place caters to families, I would strongly suggest FITTED sheets, as flat sheets are off the beds in an instant. And, although housekeeping filled our order for extra pillows promptly, pillows need upgrading, too.

Best thing about the Grand Bear is the staff. They are always accommodating, helpful and courteous. Traveling with a large, autistic person can be challenging. We are always made to feel comfortable at the Grand Bear. We will be back!

Room Tip: Ask for a room NOT on the parking lot side for good views....
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Cheryl B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Social Media Coordinator at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2012

Dear Cheryl B,
Thank YOU for such a GRAND review! Thank you for sharing such wonderful comments with us. We are THRILLED to hear that our Staff, Indoor Water Park, Indoor Amusement Park & Bloody Mary’s did the trick for placing a smile on your faces! We are so glad your son enjoyed himself and our staff was helpful in making your stay comfortable. We also value your feedback regarding the hot tub and room accommodations. With your feedback we can reach our goal of every stay to be absolutely satisfactory with a GRAND memory made. Looking forward to having you and your family come back to visit us again soon!
Best Regards,
Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort Management and Staff

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Reviewed December 10, 2012

We have two kids under 8 that loved our quick trip to the Grand Bear Resort. It is great for younger kids but I could see older kids not enjoying it as much as my kids did.

The water slides are longer than you would expect as you can't see anything except the entrance and exit from inside the pool area. Better signs explaining that the red tubes are not allowed on the water slide would be helpful.

There were lots free little extras that made the stay even better than I was expecting. In the evening there was a story in front of the fireplace in the lobby and then a movie upstairs. Santa and Grand Bear were available for pictures during breakfast.

We did receive a call from the front desk after 8:30PM checking to see if there was anything they could do for us that seemed like customer service overkill and just a little creepy. Considering we had booked the kids room with bunk beds the call was also too late in the evening for the room type.

The menu at the restaurant could be upgraded. Adding two or three specials a step up from pizza and burgers would be nice. We do not order off of typical kids menus but the server did work with us to only charge the add-on price for the salad bar instead of the entree price for the kids. A beer and adult drink menu would also have been helpful.

The amusement park is small but the rides are included at no additional charge. All of the rides in operation seemed to be in good repair and looked much safer than those at fairs. It would improve confusion if an operating strategy was posted when there are not enough employees to operate all of the rides at the same time.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kent757
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Social Media Coordinator at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2012

Dear Kent757,
Thank you for contacting us here at Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort! We appreciate your feedback and your opinion. Our goal is for your stay here to be a GRAND memory. Your input and feedback helps us create a more accommodating environment for our guests future stays. Our team strives to serve our guests to complete satisfaction. We hope that you’ll check back with us and hopefully return again so we can turn your dissatisfaction into happiness!
Best Regards,
Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort Management and Staff

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Reviewed December 3, 2012

The resort is immaculate and the staff is very friendly! Besides the problem with our door lock that was fixed by a very courteous maintenance guy named Chad! Ryan the front desk manager went out of his way to make sure my sons birthday weekend went great. If you are staying on Sunday and are staying in the vacation villa make sure to get one close to the front as the shuttle ends at 1:00 pm on Sunday. The kid working in the game room Wayne was extremely courteous and always checked on the kids and guest making sure their experience was going good. Tyler on the front desk on Sunday evening was also great as a customer care agent!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Patrick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Social Media Coordinator at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2012

Dear Patrick P,

Wow! What a GRAND review! Thank you for sharing your wonderful comments. We are thrilled to hear our staff has made your stay accommodating for your son's birthday and your family's stay. Our main goal is to make memorable experiences that exceed our guests expectations. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 815.667.3866 if we may be of further assistance and we look forward to seeing you and your family in the near future!


Warm Regards,

Reservations Team
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
2643 N. IL Rt 178 | Utica, IL 61373
Local: 815.667.3866 | Fax: 815.667.4420

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Additional Information about Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort

Address: 2643 Il 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 #3 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Price Range: $108 - $235 (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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