Breaking Travel News

Bavarian Inn Lodge opens two new waterslides

Bavarian Inn Lodge opens two new waterslides

After 84 working days, 220 cubic yards of concrete, more than 12,000 gallons of water and 506 feet of twisting, twirling fun, the Phase VI expansion of the Bavarian Inn Lodge is complete.

The $3 million renovation of the Lodge’s indoor Family Fun Center features two four-story waterslides. Also underway is a facelift to its popular 18-hole, indoor mini-golf course.

“This latest phase is really a ‘Thank you’ to our guests for allowing us to serve them for 26 years,” said Judy Zehnder Keller, president and founder of Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Lodge. “The Family Fun Center celebrates the most important aspect of Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Lodge—family. Our family has been serving guests for four generations and we’re dedicated to providing a family entertainment experience second to none.”

In addition to the waterslides and mini-golf course, the Lodge’s 35,000 square-foot entertainment venue boasts more than 100 video and redemption games, food, refreshments and live entertainment. The Lodge is now equipped with four indoor pools—one with zero-depth entry and one for adults only. Overnight guests of the Lodge are invited to use the Family Fun Center as part of their stay.

“The Lodge is unique in that it offers entertainment for all ages and abilities,” said Zehnder Keller. “Some destinations are just for kids or young adults or seniors. Our facility provides a wide variety of activities that appeal to every interest, and that can be enjoyed together—as a family.”


The two waterslides promise fun to children of all ages, 42 inches and taller.  Participants walk up four flights inside the new water tower, which features eight glass-block windows salvaged from the Frankenmuth Brewing Co. From there, riders can select from one of two waterslides—an individual body slide and a multi-person tube slide – both offering a thrilling ride.

Zehnder Keller has celebrated many milestones during the three-month construction, including a “Raise the Roof” event in October, where six multi-generational family businesses were honored for their more than 600 years of continuous service, and their contribution to the Phase VI expansion.

The renovation will add some 30 jobs to the Lodge, bringing employment to 300. Dozens of Michigan-based suppliers were used on the project including R.C. Hendrick & Son, Inc., which has built all six phases.

Lodge Construction History

  Phase I (1986): Lodge is built consisting of 100 guestrooms, one indoor pool, a restaurant and lounge, and a banquet facility.
  Phase II (1989):  $5 million addition including 98 guest rooms, second indoor pool and family fun center.
  Phase III (1995):  $14 million addition including 156 guest rooms, gift shop, third indoor pool, second restaurant and lounge, 18-hole indoor mini-golf course, addition to fun center.
  Phase IV (1998):  $3.5 million, 500-seat conference center.
  Phase V (1999):  $1.5 million addition of two more indoor pools.
  Phase VI (2012):  $3 million installation of two waterslides and refresh of mini-golf course.

Construction Facts:

  Nearly 15,000 man hours to complete Phase VI with zero loss-time work injuries.
  Work Started Aug. 13, 2012 and was completed Nov. 20, 2012.
  The slides and tower were constructed on a 16-foot high hill with a 30-degree slope.
  Most of the Family Fun Center was open to guests during the renovation.
  The two slides measure 506-feet laid end to end.
  Workers moved more than 1,000-yards of dirt during the project.