Trying to land a room for the night at the Old Faithful area in Yellowstone National Park is never an easy task if you wait until the last minute.
In a move that could help improve your odds, slightly, park officials are reviewing a proposal that would provide more overnight lodging there. But it would require that a 77-room dormitory be built.
According to a release from the park, the plan now under consideration would "improve visitor experience and employee housing in one of Yellowstone's most visited areas, while preserving the historic character of the area."
"... at least one alternative allows existing Old Faithful Lodge cabin units that currently house park concessioner staff to be made available for overnight visitor use," the release added. "The units are some of the most affordable lodging in the park. That alternative would also call for the construction of a new 77-room dormitory in the Old Faithful administrative area to house up to 144 employees displaced by the change. The 28 multiplex cabins consisting of 67 units accommodates approximately 140 overnight visitors."
Many questions remain about this proposal, ranging from who would pay for the proposed dormitory to how much land would be necessary for it and whether stands of lodgepole would have to be removed to make room for it. The cabins that would go into the nightly rental pool if this proposal is approved would be Frontier and Budget models, which would rent for about $75-$80 per night, according to park officials.
Public comments on the proposal are being accepted by Yellowstone officials through December 20 at this site. A scoping newsletter with a more detailed overview of the plan, along with instructions on how to submit comments, can be found on that page.
A hard copy of the newsletter can also be requested by calling (307) 344-2017, or by writing to the Old Faithful Dormitory Construction and Cabin Repurposing Plan, Attention: Compliance Office, National Park Service, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.
Suggestions and concerns may be submitted through the website, in person or by mail, and must be received or postmarked by midnight MST, December 20, 2011. Comments will not be accepted by phone, fax, or e-mail, and submitted responses may be made publicly available at any time.