Reader Participation Day: Can We Afford to Save All Historic Lodges in National Parks?
Whether you hold a sentimental tie to national park lodgings, or look at them nostalgically, can we afford to hold onto all historic lodge facilities in the National Park System?
In Glacier National Park, the National Park Service has already spent $10 million on rehabilitation work at the Many Glacier Hotel, and this fall work on another $9.5 million project will get under way in the lodge set on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake.
At Mount Rainier National Park, $22.5 million was spent on not just bringing the Paradise Inn up to code, but to place it on a sturdier, and straighter, footing in a project that shuttered the lodge for two years.
In Yellowstone National Park, while the Roughrider Cabins at Roosevelt hark back to an earlier day of national park travel, are these tiny, drafty, cob-web draped facilities still apropos for today's park visitors, or should they be replaced with sturdier, more comfortable accommodations?
There are other examples that can be cited throughout the park system, aging facilities that haven't been properly kept up and now would need tremendous infusions of money to raise them up to today's standards, both code-wise and comfort-wise.
Of course, there also are examples of where the investment in rehabilitation has been well worth it, places such as the Paradise Inn and the Lake Hotel in Yellowstone National Park.
What do you think? Should no expense be spared in rehabilitating places such as Many Glacier, or could the money be better spent on new buildings, ones that retain the character of "parkitecture" but which also offer bathrooms that aren't so tiny that you have a hard time changing your mind in them?