The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel will be closed during the upcoming two winter seasons for substantial remodeling and improvement, according to Rick Hoeninghausen, Xanterra Parks & Resorts‘ director of sales and marketing.
The only other overnight accommodations offered in the winter are at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge.
Mammoth Hot Springs is located five miles from Yellowstone’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, the only entrance open year-round to wheeled vehicles. Mammoth is the site of park headquarters for the National Park Service and the Park’s largest concession company, Xanterra.
The remodeling work will be done in a manner that will allow the hotel to be open during the summer months of 2017 and 2018.
When the hotel reopens in the spring of 2018, the Mammoth Hotel will be open year-round, a component of Xanterra’s 20-year concessions contract with the National Park Service.
Xanterra is in the third year of its contract, which was approved in December 2013.
Still offering snowcoach trips
Snowcoach trips to Old Faithful as well as other day tours and skier shuttles will still operate from Mammoth and will be based in the Mammoth Terrace Grill, a separate building near the hotel. The ski shop will be open during the construction winters, Hoeninghausen said.
Hoeninghausen added the winter hotel closure will provide an opportunity for Gardiner businesses to step in and accommodate those guests who would have otherwise planned to stay at Mammoth.
The Gardiner Chamber of Commerce recently added a page to its website to address Mammoth’s winter closing.
Gardiner businesses offer park tours, overnight accommodations, dining options, ski and snowshoe rentals and other services.
Most of Mammoth Hotel’s rooms will be upgraded during the closure. The hotel still has a few rooms without bath that share public restrooms and showers down the hall. The hotel rooms will be updated and the rooms without private bath will have bathrooms installed. The public showers in the hotel will be removed.
The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel as a whole will undergo seismic retrofitting and other structural improvements, Hoeninghausen said. The wooden wall map of the United States, designed by Old Faithful Inn architect Robert Reamer, in the ground floor “Map Room,” will be refurbished.
And the footprint of the building will be changed slightly. A short wing will be added roughly above the back door of the main lobby and will extend high enough to expand the second floor office area. The gift shop will be enlarged and additional space will include the winter ski shop.
Currently the ski shop is housed in a temporary structure near the hotel’s front door.
At the expanded upper level, which is currently occupied by Xanterra’s general offices as well as its reservation call center, new conference space will be added.
The call center and other staff will be moved across the road to the former Haynes Photo Shop, which is currently undergoing renovation. A few hotel rooms are currently occupied by offices, and those offices will be moved and the rooms returned to guest use, according to Hoeninghausen.
The project is funded by National Park Service funds. The NPS actually owns most of the park buildings—including the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.
To provide housing for its additional staff in housing-strapped Gardiner, Xanterra recently purchased an 18-acre property about five miles north of the town on U.S. Highway 89 South Hoeninghausen said, which could accommodate an employee dormitory. An RV park for employees on the property is also in the long-range plan.
Xanterra is currently taking reservations for this winter and the summer of 2017. Be prepared: some dates and room types at popular locations NEXT summer are already sold out.