FRANKENMUTH — The Bavarian Inn Lodge, Michigan’s largest indoor water park hotel, recently launched an animated video which vividly illustrates all the Frankenmuth-based resort has to offer for families looking for a wide range of activities to pack into a single summer vacation.

The spot, entitled “The Stixx Family Plans THEN Enjoys the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Lodge,” was produced by big brand creative supplier Epipheo and is now available on YouTube at

“It’s unique for a small resort like us to use this kind of cool technology in social media, but we wanted to produce something that stands out from other vacation destination advertising as much as our facility stands out from other alternatives,” said Bavarian Inn Lodge COO Jim Engel. “We believe we’ve done this with the Stixx family video.”

After Epipheo producer Jeff Hickman visited the Lodge, it became apparent that traditional photos or video don’t do the resort justice.

“I came away with the fact that pictures don’t really tell the story,” said Hickman. “To see firsthand the size, scale and architecture was impressive. You can’t really take it all in unless you’re actually there.”

The animated video answers the common family summer vacation question, “How are you going to keep everyone happy and enjoy a relaxing time on a vacation where every family member wants different experiences?”

The video, the first produced by Epipheo for a hospitality property, quickly and visually answers that question: “The Bavarian Inn Lodge,” says the narrator, “where you can relax, eat, shop, play and have fun.”

With all that was needed to be included in the spot, one of the biggest challenges was fitting all that the Lodge has to offer in 81 seconds, something the Epipheo creative team was able to accomplish in just 40 seconds as the video closes with narrated images of the Stixx family “sliding, playing a round, pwning, splashing, dining, climbing, glockenspieling, time travelling, chicken eating, soaking, entertaining, bonding, stress relieving, enchanting, dreaming and relaxing all in one fun place.”

Engel was exposed to the unique video product at a computer user’s group conference where the Lodge COO viewed a number of Epipheo’s previous works and from that encounter a partnership was born. In addition to YouTube, a 30-second version of the spot will run on other local Michigan media outlets as the Bavarian Inn Lodge spreads the word on all they have to offer families this summer.

Engel envisions turning the Stixx family into a multi-video campaign with other family members being introduced in subsequent spots. “I envision a reunion cartoon being produced, grandparents bringing their Grandkids for special memories, or maybe even a Stixx wedding,” Engel said. “The possibilities are endless.”

The Bavarian Inn Lodge has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, four indoor pools, three whirlpools, two water slides, a miniature golf course, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. Their expansive 35,000 square feet Family Fun Center houses two dramatic waterslides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 100 video and redemption games, a two-story children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, year round, nightly entertainment and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows.

Founded in 2008, with offices in both Cincinnati, Ohio and Portland, Oregon, Epipheo is a company of storytellers that help their clients find, and then effectively communicate their unique human value. Their storytelling expertise spans across video, interactive, branding, retail, event planning and most other communication mediums.


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