Yellowstone Year in Review
As the curtain begins to close on 2017, we reflect on a year of big events, notable moments, and wonderful memories. It was a year of big moments and updates. A total solar eclipse. Dining and lodging renovations. A new art & photography center. A new trail. A longtime employee retires. And countless visitors experienced the wonder of the world’s first national park.
Longtime Yellowstone General Manager Retires
At some point, all good things must come to an end; the same can be said about the incredible career of Jim McCaleb.
For 40 years, McCaleb has worked in Yellowstone. He has held almost every position from seasonal jobs, eventually making his way to General Manager of Yellowstone and Vice President of Parks North at Xanterra. Throughout his time in the park, he lived a life he can only describe as, “fortunate.” Read more
New Trail & Overlook Protect Yellowstone’s Resources
Significant resource damage and visitor safety concerns from off-trail travel on the hills south of Grand Prismatic Spring led the park to construct and recently open the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail. To alleviate traffic congestion, safety concerns, and resource impacts, the park also made a parking area near the Fairy Falls Trailhead at Midway Geyser Basin. Read More
Yellowstone Sees a Solar Eclipse
On August 21, the eclipse passed over the United States. Onlookers from around the world gathered in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for the show. Our sister park in the south, Grand Teton National Park, had a total solar eclipse at 11:36 a.m. Watch the video below to see darkness decend on the Tetons. In Yellowstone, there was just a partial eclipse, which left an eerie light. See photos from the day of the Eclipse in Yellowstone..
The Mammoth Map is Restored
In a landscape of unique hot springs and geysers and abundant charismatic wildlife, our attention is focused outside. But one work of manmade art is worth a moment’s pause – inside. Mammoth Hotel’s Map Room owes its name to a stunning map of the United States as it existed in 1936. Measuring 17′ 2″ by 10′ 4″ and containing 2,544 pieces of wood, the meticulous craftsmanship has recently been restored to its original beauty by the National Park Service Conservation Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona. Read More
Laundry Operation Make a Big Splash
Bison, wolves and geysers are what bring people to Yellowstone. But to serve the million-plus overnight guests takes a lot of behind-the-scenes efforts. With more than 2,300 rooms and 5,000 beds, ensuring clean linens, bedspreads and towels is no small load (pun intended.) Our laundry operation is not only handling the load, but will have handled a new record volume when the last sheet is pressed and folded for the 2017 season. Read More
The Resurrection of Mission 66 in Yellowstone
The Big Deal is that Xanterra Parks & Resorts has renovated Canyon Village Lodge and uncovered its original Mission 66 character. In 2015, Xanterra engaged CTA Architects Engineers to help realize this renovation, with much of the work informed by CTA’s 2013 historic structure report for the building. Work was coordinated with NPS and the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, as NPS deems the building significant for its seminal role in Mission 66. The original volume, under the 27’-high ridge beam, and the regularity and warmth of the 92-long glulam beams, reads more clearly now with the removal of partition walls. New modes of serving fresh food are located throughout the 320-foot long volume. Ice cream, coffee, wine, and beer supplement the full dining room and the exhilarating two-part servery that offers Slow Food Fast and Fresh Woks. The original question mark-shaped bar has been restored and enhanced with a facsimile of the original decorative back bar. The chandeliers have been painted their original bright colors, the screen walls are once again translucent, and the furniture is now of the 1950s style and color again. This reinvigoration of the building has been well received by young and old alike. The young are stimulated by the retro-style and the old are comforted by its familiarity. Learn More
Yellowstone Art & Photography Center Opens
The center, operated Yellowstone Forever, is located in the Old Faithful area between the Visitor Information Center and the iconic geyser herself, and gives visitors the opportunity to purchase art and photography supplies, interact with staff, peruse the art gallery, and participate in daily activities.
“With the opening of the Yellowstone Art & Photography Center, we are able to celebrate the essential role that art has played in the very creation of Yellowstone National Park,” says Robert Petty, director of education at Yellowstone Forever, about the new facility. “The center honors the artists both past and present who continue to explore, interpret, and share their understanding of this remarkable place.” Learn more
Green Housekeeping Program Implemented
A new program was implemented at our lodges called Our Softer Footprint Green Housekeeping Program. This program aims to provide our guests with an incentive for opting out of housekeeping services during multiple night stays. In doing so, the program helps to save resources by reducing the water required for linen and towel laundering and lessening the amount of cleaning products needed for daily maintenance of the guest room. This program supports Yellowstone’s sustainability goals while providing our guests with a tangible way to reduce the environmental impacts resulting from their stay. Additionally, for every night of their stay, we will discount the room rate by $5 as an added incentive to join us in our environmental efforts. Learn More
Mammoth Hot Springs Phase 1 Renovations Complete
Phase one renovations are complete, guests can now enjoy the new look and amenities at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. 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 map room has been updated to function as more of a lounge area. 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, which was recently sent to the NPS Conservation Laboratory in Arizona to be restored, is back in place and looking better than ever. The Hotel will be closed again next winter to accommodate the final phase of the remodel, upgrading all the rooms with bath.