Four decades after it went into service, the Mammoth Cave Hotel is showing its age, both in appearance and function. As a result, Mammoth Cave National Park officials want to start talking about how the hotel can best be renovated to improve visitor services.
On Tuesday, March 16, park Superintendent Patrick Reed plans to host a public meeting in the hotel to gather input on how best to improve the facility.
“Forty-year old buildings don’t run like they did when they were new,” explained Superintendent Reed. “And there is an aesthetic element here, too – Mammoth Cave Hotel and the old visitor center, both constructed in the 1960s, shared a similar design, like bookends on either side of the ravine. With the visitor center renovation under way, we would like to give the hotel comparable consideration, regarding its appearance, facilities, and services.”
The open house will be held from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the hotel's Rotunda Room. The purpose of the open house is to provide the public and interested agencies and organizations an opportunity
to learn about the proposed project and comment early in the planning process.
“In this scoping meeting, we want the public’s thoughts and ideas about the hotel,” said Superintendent Reed. “Their comments will help shape our planning process.”
At the open house, the superintendent will provide an overview of the proposed project, and park staff will be available to answer questions. Portions of the hotel and its facilities also will be open for viewing by the public during the open house. The public is invited to visit at any point during the scheduled time to review materials and speak with park representatives.
In order to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, an Environmental Assessment on the project will be completed. The EA will develop and analyze potential alternatives for providing improved visitor services at the Mammoth Cave Hotel as a financially viable, authorized concession within a national park. The EA is expected to be available for public and regulatory review in fall 2010, and implementation would begin once funding becomes available.
The public may provide written comments about the project online at the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/maca, or by letter to Mammoth Cave National Park, Attn: Ken Kern, P.O. Box 7, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259.