Macktive Scholarship – Jolynn Atkins

by Brent Williams on February 8, 2019 Comments Off on Macktive Scholarship – Jolynn Atkins

“Thank you to our leadership team for spearheading this idea!  As a customer experience enthusiast, I’m appreciative that MacKenzie provided the opportunity to have customer experiences we would otherwise might not have taken advantage of. As a mom, I’m truly am grateful and it was such a joy to have this time with my family.”




Jolynn Atkins
Customer Experience & Engagement



Family Fun Stay-cation



January 25 – 27, 2019



Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is an one-stop shop for family fun. For locals like us, it’s a wonderful place for a stay-cation and quality family time. Our family made so many memories and were the most relaxed and playful we’ve been in a while. The staff is great and ready to tend to your every need. AND – no need to dress up here! It’s all about what makes you feel the most comfortable.

We were introduced to the Great Wolf Lodge by our family who live in Washington and this is a staple in their family vacations. We’ve wanted to go for about 1 year and never justified the cost, until now.

I’ve always heard wonderful things about Great Wolf Lodge – mainly about the indoor water park. My son loves water slides so I truly thought we would spend most of our stay there. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of amenities and other activities, and in reality, we spent our time equally through the lodge enjoying all there was to offer. One notable difference, the resort staff interacted with kids as if they were their #1 guests, which was great to see as our expectation of this place was that it designed for the kids to feel important and create their own vacation adventure.

This experience exceeded our expectations. My husband and son both said over and over again, “This place is so cool!”. There are always fun things to do and see on the schedule, the food is delicious and the staff treated us as though we were guests in their own homes – engaging us at every interaction.

We would like to recognize two specific staff members who added a touch of magic to our stay. Our first was at the front desk while checking-in. Art was the first employee we encountered and he was warm, welcoming, knowledgeable and guest-centric. Not only did he engage with us as parents, he made it a point to include our 6 year old son in the conversation. He also asked if we were celebrating birthdays and when my son boldly said his birthday was “last year” on Dec. 27 (only last month), Art ensured to provide my son with the birthday version of the customary wolf ears. Yes, every guest gets a set of wolf ears at check-on to wear and the birthday version brightened his day as every staff member that passed us by wished him a “happy birthday”. He was tickled!

Additionally, we’d like to give kudos to Marie in the Loose Moose buffet who first asked us, the parents, if she could do something special for our birthday boy – scored points here, and then followed this up with a cupcake and group birthday song – bonus points!

You could feel that almost all the staff loves Great Wolf Lodge and their jobs.

What worked well was the “know before you go” emails we received as the weekend stay approached. These emails shared what to expect and ways to play. Also introduced in these emails was the launch of an app that would facilitate your stay and give you access to mobile ordering at some of the food locations/restaurants. The email mentioned that we would be one of the first to use the app – indicating it has just launched.

I love how apps like this enhance an onsite experience with notifications, quick accessibility to schedules, shows, events, and menus, so I promptly downloaded the Great Wolf Lodge app.

We did use the app for most of the stay as a resource to check menus and times of show starts. We were disappointed to see that the mobile ordering did not work as advertised. This would have been a huge help as the line for Dunkin’ Donuts is one of longest in the lodge.

Additionally, we were excited to be “wallet free” with the use of an RFID wristband. These cool little gadgets allowed us in to our hotel room without needing to pull a hotel key out of our pocket (or loose it) and it also had our credit card attached so that we could make purchases throughout the stay without having to bring wallets, purses, etc.

Sadly, the RFID payment system was down throughout our stay and we were not able have the ease of use we’d gotten so excited for. The door lock system worked effortlessly and that was a huge help – especially when coming back to the room from the waterpark.

Thinking about what worked well from a technology stand point, we received a text from Brinley, one of their many characters, introducing herself as our personal assistant and offered us to reach out via text with anything we needed during our stay. We then received another text with a similar message the next day and then a check out assistant text on the morning of the last day. I feel this added the extra bit of connection to the experience and felt like the resort cared about us as guests and our needs.

The experience ratings allowed me to give a snapshot into the overall experience. As a customer, would like to have more of an opportunity to provide feedback and recognition. We were on floating on cloud 9 when leaving the hotel and began to tell all of our friends about the experience and would welcome the opportunity to share with the company as well. Luckily, the Great Wolf lodge sent a follow up opportunity in the form of an electronic survey to provide more detailed feedback and recognition.

Overall, our we enjoyed every moment we were there including:

The bowling alley, glow-in-the dark mini golf, an arcade with the largest claw game we’ve ever seen, the waterpark (Lazy river and wave pool were our favorites), the candy store – where you can find a personal pizza made of all gummy candies, dining places, wine-down service (wine and chocolate delivered to your room at a scheduled time), and of course the dance parties and story time with the resort’s characters, Wiley and Violet.

Would highly recommend the Wolf Den rooms. This gives the kids their own space, and includes their own TV with a  YouTube channel, and was by far one of the top things my son got excited about.

The indoor waterpark is awesome! It can seem overwhelming, especially if you have younger kids. Never fear, we felt so safe with the on-duty lifeguards. They constantly rotate and we did not see them take their eyes of the kids.

The price of the stay can seem steep however the experience was well worth the lifetime of memories for my family.

Tip: Look for special rates on the website – we scored with a “winter getaway” rate.




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Brent Williams is Brand Development Manager at MacKenzie Corporation. His optimism is contagious, and he brings a unique energy to all of his projects. While Brent carries an “outside the box” mentality, his ideas are conceptually based on his formal business education and extensive work experience as a Research Consultant for top-tier organizations such as the NFL, NBA, NHL, Red Bull USA and many others.

Brent WilliamsMacktive Scholarship – Jolynn Atkins