The Woodlands Resort has history of catering to community
Residents who enjoy staycations need look no further than The Woodlands Resort.
Originally founded as The Woodlands Inn by George Mitchell in 1974, the resort has nearly doubled in size from 218 rooms to 402 rooms.
Wendi Gelfound, area director of marketing for the Howard Hughes Corp., which owns the resort, explained that the inn was built out of necessity when Mitchell, founder of The Woodlands, was trying to bring investors into the area.
“The nearest hotel was about 45 minutes away,” Gelfound said. “It actually was out of necessity that he built it and then years later - we don’t know exactly what date — the name changed to The Woodlands Resort.”
The inn soon evolved into more than just a hotel. With a vision for both leisure and business, the resort spent approximately $60 million to upgrade the conference center, hotel rooms and install the water park.
“They quickly realized that they wanted to create a vacationing spot for families and that’s when they expanded and added the oasis and water park,” Gelfound said. “(They) made it to where it was going to be both catering to conferences and meetings as well as vacationing families.”
The water park boasts a 30-foot double helix water slide, four new outdoor cabanas and the Cool Water Café. Other amenities include a spa and access to the Golf Trails and The Woodlands Country Club Tennis Facility, which are owned by Golf Corp.
The resort hosts a variety of events year round including everything from weddings to luncheons to formal business conferences, which can have anywhere from 25 to 400 people attend. The hotel can have as many as 1,000 guests at a time during high traffic season such as spring break, Gelfound said.
She added that the most frequent visitors are from within a 50- to 70-mile radius.
“We have a very high number of staycationers that are within the 60-mile drive,” Gelfound said.
Also on the resort premises is the award-winning Robard’s Steakhouse. Chef David Morris and Executive Pastry Chef Ryan Witcher took first place in the dinner and dessert categories, respectively, at the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting and Chef Showcase during Wine & Food Week in June. No single restaurant before had won both awards in the same year.
Upcoming holiday events
Pet Adoption: Robard’s Steakhouse will host a pet adoption event on Friday, Oct. 26, from 4-7 p.m. that will benefit the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. Adoptable pets will be on the outdoor patio waiting to find their forever home.
Haunted Halloween Party: The Woodlands Resort will host a Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 27. Events include a costume competition, trick or treat scavenger hunt, Thriller dance party, smores and more. Cost is $10 per person.
Thanksgiving Brunch: The ever popular Thanksgiving Day Brunch at The Woodlands Resort will be held in the dining room from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22. Brunch prices are $65 for adults, $35 for children, kids 4 and younger are free.
Robard’s will also have a Thanksgiving brunch at $95 for adults and $50 children. Ages 4 and under eat free.
“For the first time we this year we’ll be taking orders for Thanksgiving dinners to go. People can order an entire thanksgiving dinner and just pick it up,” Gelfound said.
Illumination Ceremony: The Woodlands Resort will light the 25-feet-tall Christmas tree at its annual illumination ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23. The event is free but attendees must register online beforehand.
“We’ll have Santa on a firetruck and we will have three different photo opportunities,” Gelfound said, which include an option for children to sit with Santa under the tree, a vintage trailer photo booth and a giant life sized snow globe where families can get inside. “We’ll also have carolers singing and at least one choir.”
For more information on these and other events, visit the calendar of events at http://www.woodlandsresort.com or call 281-367-1100.