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Historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel in World’s First National Park Completes Phase 1 of Renovation with Major Structural, Lobby and West Wing Guest Room Enhancements

July 27, 2013 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

The oldest hotel in Yellowstone National ParkLake Yellowstone Hotel, has received a bottom-up facelift – literally – that would make any grand dame of 122 years proud.

The project, costing in excess of $10 million, included new lobby décor, major structural enhancements, the addition of an elevator, new business center and 43 renovated rooms, including gI_101493_Lake Hotel Sunroom web releasefour newly created suites in the west wing of the hotel.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts’ Yellowstone National Park Lodges, operator of the hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, tours and activities in the park, has been working since the day the hotel closed for the summer season in 2012 to complete Phase I of a two-part renovation program that will ultimately affect every room in the 154-room hotel.

The first order of renovation business was to give the hotel a lift to protect the building from seismic activities, which are a frequent event in the park, although most visitors never see or feel anything.

What they will see, however, is an expansive lobby with a fresh new look reminiscent of the Colonial Revival period. The heavy furniture sourced from U.S. companies in North Carolina, Ohio and Colorado is finished in light cherry.

Although the crew of some 30 workers was removing wood trim and windows that was more than a century old, they were keeping careful track of each piece. “Great care went into reassembling the hotel’s historic construction materials in the proper place, and the workers were committed to salvaging as much of it as possible,” said Jim McCaleb, general manager of Yellowstone National Park Lodges. “And throughout the process, the National Park Service (NPS) supported the project by sharing their expertise and offering ideas to ensure the hotel’s historical integrity.”

With an emphasis on retaining the historic character of the hotel, the project included authentic touches such as re-installation the original bellhop call box behind the new bell porter desk and restoration of the original windows.

The 250-seat Lake Hotel Dining Room, centerpiece lobby bar and elegant Sun Room also received a makeover.

On the second floor, directly above the restaurant and lounge are four newly created suites and the existing but renovated Presidential Suite, featuring a king bed and sofa sleeper. Each of the new suites boasts king or queen beds and a living room with a sofa sleeper and wet bar. Most also have a deep soaking tub in addition to a shower.

Additionally, Xanterra renovated the remaining 38 rooms in the west wing, including eight new mobility and/or communication-accessible rooms with a variety of bed configurations. All of the renovated rooms also feature wired Internet connectivity. By August, a new west wing elevator will provide access to all rooms in that section of the hotel, which meets all ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations to provide access to guests of all physical abilities.

Xanterra will launch the second phase of the project after the hotel closes for the summer season Sept. 29. That project will include renovation of the remaining guest rooms in the east wing of the hotel, expansion of the popular delicatessen, renovation of an existing detached building – once used to house boilers – for administration offices and other non-public space enhancements.

Additional information about Phase 1 of the Lake Hotel renovation and other hotel information:

  •     Reflecting Xanterra’s long-time commitment to sustainability, most of the furniture was made in the United States.
  •     Kohler donated all of the bathroom fixtures for the five suites including the fixtures for the low-flow toilets and shower heads.
  •     A total of 1,063 pieces of solid-wood furniture were ordered for the 43 guest rooms and public space at a price tag of nearly $1 million.
  •     In keeping with the tradition of retaining selected design elements from previous renovations whenever a major enhancement is completed in a historic hotel, Xanterra kept 150 numbered prints of classic Yellowstone landscapes by Livingston, Mont. artist Robert Spannering that were installed during the last major renovation in late 1980s.
  •     A member of Historic Hotels of America, Lake Yellowstone Hotel is the oldest operating hotel and the second oldest building in use in the park today. Construction began in 1889 and took nearly two years to complete. The hotel will be celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2016.

Through its Yellowstone National Park Lodges operations, Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates nine lodging facilities, four campgrounds and an RV park inside the park along with restaurants, activities and gift shops.

Reservations and complete details about packages, accommodations, restaurants and activities in Yellowstone can be found by calling (1) 307-344-7311 or toll-free 866-GEYSERLAND (866-439-7375), or visiting the web site

Known for its “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint,” Xanterra Parks & Resorts® entities include lodges, restaurants, tours and activities in national and state parks and resorts as well as a cruise line, railway and tour operator. Xanterra Parks & Resorts has operations in the Grand Canyon, including Grand Canyon Railway and The Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz.; Yellowstone; Zion; Crater Lake; Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park and five Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio’s Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also operates Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., Windstar Cruises and VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations.

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