Martel Construction, Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture redevelop Canyon Lodge in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park's Canyon Village has announced the start of a $70-million redevelopment. As part of its concessions contract with the National Park Service (NPS), lodge operator Xanterra Parks & Resorts will remove some 200 cabins this spring and begin site preparations for the construction of five lodge buildings, as well as the addition of paths that will make the area more biker- and hiker-friendly.

Canyon Lodge & Cabins currently has more than 400 cabins and two lodge buildings, and is the largest accommodation complex in the park. Much of the development occurred during the late 1950s after the US Congress appropriated funds to expand visitor services in many national parks. With the expansion of the country's Interstate highway system and automobile travel becoming the norm for travelers in the US, the goal was to complete this far-reaching project by 1966 when NPS celebrated its 50th anniversary.

The Canyon lodging redevelopment project is scheduled to be completed by 2016, when the NPS marks 100 years.

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According to Jim McCaleb, GM of Yellowstone National Park Lodges, the new lodges will be designed and constructed with an emphasis on sustainability with modern amenities that will focus on the visitor experience.

Over the next two seasons, Xanterra will remove all of the smaller Frontier cabins and replace them in two phases with five modern lodges. The lodges will be multi-story structures with stone and wood that blend into the surrounding area. The first three lodges will open in 2015 and the remaining two the following year.

The new lodges will feature common meeting areas and a total of 409 guest rooms. Because the village receives large amounts of snow each winter, much of the construction will be done off site beginning this spring with final assembly and finishing taking place onsite beginning next summer. The lodges will complement the Cascade Lodge that opened in 1993, and Dunraven Lodge which was completed in 1998.

As part of this project, walking and bicycle paths will be created to link the Canyon Village complex with the North Rim Drive and the lodging area.

Xanterra is also planning a redesign of Canyon Lodge dining facilities to expand its emphasis on local and sustainable offerings and quick-service meals which will allow visitors to spend more time experiencing the park.

Martel Construction of Bozeman, Mont., is the general contractor for this job. Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture of Denver is the architect.