YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK—The large structures arriving in Yellowstone National Park’s Canyon Village are tangible indications that the Canyon Lodge & Cabins redevelopment project is truly taking shape. Constructed in Boise, Idaho by Guerdon Enterprises, the modules will eventually comprise five multi-story lodges featuring stone and wood that blend into the surrounding area. The first three lodges will open in 2015 and the remaining two the following year.
The modules are being created in a controlled environment that allows for year-round work while minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency. As part of its concessions contract with the National Park Service (NPS), lodge operator Xanterra Parks & Resorts is overseeing the $70 million project that will replace more than 300 cabins with five modern lodge buildings as well as a trail system conducive to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Trucks are departing the Guerdon factory Mondays through Saturdays through late September. They stage in West Yellowstone, Mont. and can enter the park after midnight, when traffic is light.
Efficient Approach to Construction
“Canyon Village inside the park sees significant snowfall, and the season is short resulting in a corresponding small window for construction,” said Jim McCaleb, General Manager of Yellowstone National Park Lodges. “While contractors were preparing the site, building foundations and creating the infrastructure, Guerdon crews were busy constructing the units that will be assembled on-site as complete lodges featuring common areas and guestrooms. This ‘concurrent’ approach allows us to continually make progress regardless of the changes of the seasons.”
Until recently, Canyon Lodge & Cabins featured more than 400 cabins and two lodge buildings. Most of the cabins were built in the 1950s after the United States Congress appropriated funds to dramatically expand visitor services in many national parks in anticipation of NPS celebrating its 50th anniversary in 1966. While the cabins served travelers well for many years, they were never intended to last indefinitely.
As part of this project, walking and bicycle paths will be created to link the Canyon Village complex with the North Rim Drive and the lodging area.
Xanterra is also planning a redesign of Canyon Lodge dining facilities to expand its emphasis on local and sustainable offerings and quick-service meals which will allow visitors to spend more time experiencing the park.
“When this project is completed, we will have added new and inviting guest facilities that should serve visitors for at least another 100 years,” said McCaleb. “We also believe that modern technology allows for a construction process that minimizes impact on the environment while maximizing the guest experience.”