Mammoth Hotel Gets a Makeover
Updated April 1, 2020
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Renovation
The next time you visit the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, you will notice some exciting changes. The historic Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel has been long overdue for a makeover and winter 2017 it opened its doors to a fresh look. In 2016, phase one of renovations began which included infrastructure and safety upgrades, a building extension, and a remodel to the main public spaces.
Travelers were drawn to the Mammoth area even before Yellowstone became a park, staying first in the rustic McCartney’s hotel built in 1871, and later the opulent National Hotel between 1883 and 1936. The National Hotel was over 400 feet long, had 150 rooms, electric lights, a large lobby, and “a long line of vermilion spittoons precisely arrayed down the hall.” In 1906 architect Robert C. Reamer drew up plans for a larger replacement, but financial considerations resulted in merely a renovation (with a new wing) in 1913. By 1936 the structure was becoming unsound, and all but the 1913 wing were razed that fall. Mr. Reamer designed a new lobby for the front of the wing, a new restaurant building, recreation hall, and the cabin facility in the rear that would make up for the lost hotel rooms while serving the desires of the ever increasing numbers of automobile tourists. The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel as we see it today opened in 1937, with the last renovations taking place in the 1960s.
Fast forward to 2017, the phase one renovations were completed and guests enjoyed the new look and amenities. The gift shop was extended out to make room for additional products and the Mammoth Ski Shop in the winter. The old second-floor offices were converted to public meeting areas. The gift shop and ski shop make shopping and adventuring fun, and new conference rooms provide space for staff meetings and public functions.
The Map Room was updated to function as more of a lounge area where guests can relax and visit after inspiring days in the park. A small bar was built in the room to serve coffee and alcoholic beverages. The large wooden wall map designed by architect Robert Reamer in the 1930s, was sent to the NPS Conservation Laboratory in Arizona to be restored, and is back in place and looking better than ever. All 15 types of wood in 2,544 pieces have been restored to their original glory.
Take a look at some of the photos of the phase one renovations below and continue reading for a look at phase two renovations that were completed in 2019.
The National Park Service (NPS) and Yellowstone National Park Lodges/Xanterra completed a major renovation of this historic hotel in 2019.
The Mammoth Hot Springs hotel is one of the only art moderne structures in the National Park Service; a streamlined and elegant architectural style from the 1930s and 1940s. The current hotel’s public areas and cottages were built between 1936 and 1938, while the rooms were built as part of a previous structure in 1913.
The 30 million dollar renovation project was completed over four years, and brought the historic structure up to modern accessibility, utility, seismic, and sustainability standards, while retaining much of the original look and feel of the historic structure.
Reopening the hotel on August 30, 2019 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony, park superintendent Cam Sholly said “it’s very important when we look at rehabilitating these historic structures for the future… people can….see what they were like 100 years ago or more, but can enjoy that balance of modern day amenities and comfort as well.”
Sholly thanked NPS and Xanterra staff, and the builders (Swank Construction Company) for their hard work, and for making sure the renovation was completed on time and within budget. The project will reduce over 10 million dollars of deferred maintenance, Sholly said.
“If you look back …when the first visitors came to Yellowstone by railroad through the north entrance,” said Mike Keller, General Manager of Xanterra, “Mammoth was their first destination. I’m very happy to say that with this restoration I think we’ve reiterated and reinforced what Mammoth means to the Yellowstone experience…” Today, the Mammoth Hotel is the epicenter for commercial services in the northern part of the park, serving around 95,000 visitors annually.
Xanterra contributed 2 million to the renovation project as well as participating on the team alongside NPS and private planners, architects, and contractors. “Yellowstone is all about partnerships,” said Keller. “It’s a privilege to be here and be a part of the team that responsible for …..ensuring that we maintain these facilities not only for today but for 100 years from now.”
No more trekking to shared bathrooms – all 79 renovated rooms now have private baths, some of which include bathtubs and other fixtures from the original hotel.
“One of the things I enjoy about working on these projects is…. you get to use these buildings as they were designed over 100 years ago,” said NPS project manager Peter Galindo. You get to experience the history but with modern conveniences…it’s not like you’re going into a museum and you’re standing behind a rope and you’re looking at a photograph. You actually get to experience these hotels as they were intended.”
Contributors to this article include Jenny Golding who is the founding editor of A Yellowstone Life and writes from her home at the north entrance to Yellowstone in Gardiner, Montana.
For more travel experiences to Beautiful Places on Earth™ available from Xanterra Travel Collection and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.
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