Renovation of Lake Yellowstone Hotel in Yellowstone National Park Nears Completion; Guests Will be Treated to Classic Elegance with Modern Amenities

For Immediate Release
Photos Available

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, April 17, 2014 – With a two-year renovation in excess of $28.5 million close to completion, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, a member of Historic Hotels of America, is poised to once again demonstrate that elegance and comfort never go out of style in the world’s first national park.

“The Lake Hotel holds a special place in the hearts of so many of our guests,” said Jim McCaleb, general manager of Xanterra Parks & Resorts’ Yellowstone National Park Lodges. “With this renovation we are confident that they will fall in love with it all over again and a whole new generation of fans will be born.”

The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-June, and reservations are currently being accepted online or by phone with many open dates throughout the season.

Construction of the Lake Yellowstone Hotel began in 1889 – before a second national park even existed – and was completed two years later. The original hotel was a simple three-story clapboard structure with 80 guest rooms. During 1903 and 1904, famed architect Robert Reamer oversaw a major renovation and expansion project that increased the room count to 210 and included building extensions to the exterior front gables, 50-foot Ionic columns, dormer windows on the roof, false balconies to the windows and decorative oval windows on the building’s front wall. Over the years, Reamer added the porte cochere in 1919 and 1937, the east wing with 113 rooms between 1922 and 1923, a tile fireplace and drinking fountain in 1923 and the Sun Room in 1928. The end result was a classic national park hotel built in the “Colonial Revival” style of architecture along Yellowstone Lake.

The current renovation of Lake Hotel (as it is often called) began in the fall of 2012 to provide seismic stabilization and return some of the historic character-defining features of the Colonial Revival style. The project is being completed in two phases, mostly when the hotel is closed for the winter.

Completed in June 2013, the first phase was undertaken during winter 2012/2013 and included major structural enhancements, renovation of the lobby, Sun Room and dining room, bringing back the hardwood floors, colors, period lighting and compatible furnishings of the period. The registration desk, bell desk and bar were renovated and in some cases, redesigned. A new concierge desk was also added. In the first phase, corridors and 43 rooms were renovated which included new finishes, lighting and carpeting that reflect the period. The windows and doors were either restored or replaced where necessary. Four suites were added, and the presidential suite was renovated in the west wing of the hotel. An ADA-compliant passenger elevator was added for additional accessible rooms on the upper floors, and a new business center was also added.

The second phase of the project began after the hotel closed for the season in the fall of 2013, and renovation is continuing with completion occurring June, 2014. This phase of the project includes the renovation of the final corridors and 134 rooms in the east wing of the hotel similar to the other rooms in the first phase. The passenger and service elevators are being replaced. The popular delicatessen is being renovated and expanded. Hotel offices are being relocated into a space outside the main hotel building, allowing for hotel spaces to be expanded for the guest services.

Historic Preservation

While conducting the renovations, the construction contractors placed an emphasis on retaining the historic character of the hotel with authentic touches, including restoration of the original windows, public spaces and rooms as detailed in the construction drawings by the historic preservation architects. Workers removing wood trim and windows that were more than a century old kept careful track of each piece. Great care went into reassembling the hotel’s historic fabric, and the workers were committed to salvaging as much of the material as possible in a sustainable way for reuse.

“Lake Yellowstone Hotel is one the most historically and architecturally significant buildings in Yellowstone National Park, and this renovation has returned to the hotel the charm and elegance created by architect, Robert Reamer,” said Jim McDonald, historic preservation architect and principal of A&E Architects PC, the renovation architectural firm. “Xanterra Parks & Resorts along with A&E Architects are proud to complete this renovation to maintain the original integrity of Lake Yellowstone Hotel for future generations of national park visitors.”

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The Lake Yellowstone Hotel opens for the season May 16 and closes Oct. 5, 2014. The hotel features king and queen lakeside and standard rooms as well as lakeside suites and the presidential suite used by President Calvin Coolidge in the early days.

Yellowstone National Park Lodges operates nine in-park lodging facilities, four campgrounds and an RV 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 www.YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com.