Mammoth Cave National Park Officials Proposing Improvements To Lodging Facilities

Proposed improvements to lodging in Mammoth Cave National Park would include renovations to the Sunset Terrace Lodge (top) and removal of the Heritage Trail Wing. NPS photos.

A multi-phase rehabilitation of lodging facilities in Mammoth Cave National Park is being proposed by park officials, with various improvements instituted as funding becomes available.

Public comment on the proposal is being collected through December 28.

“In developing this plan, we have considered available funding, what visitors need, the need for a concessioner to be able to profit, and how the concessions facilities could provide the best value to the government,” said park Superintendent Sarah Craighead. “We welcome public comment on this document. We hope to see many people at the open house and receive many written comments as well.”

A public scoping session was held in 2010 as the park began planning (37 people attended a meeting and 30 submitted comments). The scoping showed that the public favored clean, comfortable lodging; a majority stated an interest in rustic cabins, a variety of food/beverage options and affordable choices; and support was voiced for an updated hotel façade, landscaping, and amenities, a park release said.

The draft environmental assessment's preferred alternative will address:

* Hotel Lodge and Sunset Terrace Lodge – replace outdated utilities, mechanical systems, and installing life/safety systems;

* Sunset Terrace Lodge – renovate the interior, exterior and landscaping; and

* Removal of the hotel's Heritage Trail Wing.

The park is using $3.4 million in Park Service funding as a working budget for the initial components for the preferred alternative, listed above. Several project elements related to the Mammoth Cave Hotel are not funded at this time, including interior renovations, façade, parking, screening, sidewalks, outdoor dining area; implementation would begin as funding becomes available.

An open house will be held December 12, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at the Rotunda Room of the Mammoth Cave Hotel. 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 ask questions of park staff. 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.

Printed copies of the EA will be placed at the Park visitor center, Superintendent’s office, Mammoth Cave Hotel, and also at the Edmonson County Library, the BRADD office in Bowling Green, and the Cave City Convention Center. It can also be viewed online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/maca

The public may provide written comments about the Draft EA 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: Bruce Powell, P.O. Box 7, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259.