KeyLime Cove — a “five-starfish” resort

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KeyLime Cove is being touted as “a tropical paradise in your own backyard.” For me, it literally is in my own backyard… I live a short 2.6 miles away from the 38-acre resort being constructed just off of Grand Avenue and the I94 tollway in Gurnee, IL.

I’ve been watching the building slowly taking shape these last few months — from a distance, of course — with a healthy curiousity as to what the interior of the place will look like. Well, I got my first glimpse inside a few weeks ago.

I, along with a few other local bloggers (Jesse of JstreetZine and a few of the writers from Chicago Moms Blog), were invited by Michael Rubin of Arment Dietrich for a hard hat tour of the construction site.

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I gotta say … I cannot wait for this place to open!

KeyLime Cove is the brainchild of David W. “Famous Dave” Anderson, who was on-site that day to lead a group of us around and describe his vision of the resort.

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KeyLime Cove’s main attraction is the 64,500 square foot tropical-themed indoor water park. Kept at a balmy 82° year-round, you can go swimming at any time of the day or year… even in the middle of one of our fabulous midwest blizzards.

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There are 414 suites for guests to stay, with rooms built to accomodate from two all the way up to twelve people. There are also 12,000 square feet set aside for a conference center, banquet halls and meeting rooms.

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When your stomach starts growling, there are two restaurants to chose from — DW Anderson’s Eatery & Ice Cream Parlor and the Crazy Toucan Margarita Grill. If the urge to snack comes in the middle of the night, just take a trip to the 24-hour convinence store located within the building.

When not splashing around in the waterpark, the kids can pass some time at Kamp Kool, where arts and crafts projects, learning adventures and kid-friendly movies will capture their attention. If fun of the electronic type is more their style, there is a 6,000 square foot arcade in which to pass the time.

While the kids are busy, parents can escape to the Paradise Mist, a full-service spa where the needs of both your mind and body are catered to. But if relaxing is far from your mind, visit the fitness center to get your blood pumping.

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My first question — being that I live so close — was if it would be possible to visit the waterpark and the other attractions by purchasing an admission ticket without having to book a room. When asked, we were told that the waterpark paradise and all the attractions are exclusively for guests of the resort. I was a bit disappointed at first, but after listening to the reasoning behind it I agree with the policy. See, this is an all-in-one type of resort — a “cruise ship experience on land” — and by reserving the use of the water park and attractions for the guests, you avoid the long lines and giant crowds you’ll find at most other places. I visit Six Flags regularly (hello, season pass!) and I know first-hand how frustrating it is to have to wait for hours in order ride your favorite ride.

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KeyLime Cove opens on February 29, 2008. You can make your reservations now by visiting

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3 thoughts on “KeyLime Cove — a “five-starfish” resort”

  1. Kelly,

    Thank you for the kind words and the great comments! We really appreciate them and enjoyed meeting you. Also, thanks for the great photos and for welcoming us to the neighborhood. We’re glad to be here.

    Michelle Hoffman
    Director of Marketing, KeyLime Cove

  2. i am late on this…

    its funny how Gurnee is totally this epicenter of fun in IL! its a good thing of course. Malls, waterparks, roller coasters… GURNEE!!! yay!

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