Mammoth Cave Hotel Roof Replacement Project


The Great American Outdoor (GAOA) Hotel Roof Replacement Project was officially completed in October 2023. During the project, the building received a new roof, a reconfiguration of the interior lobby, installation of new energy efficient windows, additional building insulation, and a complete facade update.

After the completion of the GAOA work, the building underwent several additional months of construction by the in-park Concessioner, ExplorUS, to remodel the two hotel restaurants, four ADA accessible rooms, a conference room, and bathrooms. ExplorUS also repurposed a retail storage room into a coffee shop for an enhanced visitor experience.

The entrance to the Mammoth Cave Hotel.
The current front entrance to the Mammoth Cave hotel.

NPS Photo/ Molly Schroer

About the Mammoth Cave Hotel

The Mammoth Cave hotel, operated by ExplorUS, was constructed in 1965 as part of the Mission 66 program – an ambitious 10-year plan to modernize and expand park infrastructure nationwide to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Park Service in 1966.

The hotel sits directly across from the park visitor center, serving as a hub for visitor services in the park, including two concessioner run dining facilities, a conference room, retail shops, and hotel check in desk. Over 600,000 people visit Mammoth Cave National Park annually approximately 83% of visitors arriving to the park utilize this visitor service hub to embark on ranger-led cave tours.

Water damage on the drywall in the hotel.
Roof leaks and water damage have become a common occurrence inside the hotel.

NPS Photo/ Molly Schroer

An Aging Building

In recent years, conditions of the over 55-year-old building have deteriorated. The lodge building was constructed with a virtually flat roof which does not allow for the proper drainage of water. During periods of heavy rain, the building experiences dozens of roof leaks which affect visitors using the building’s services.

Investing in Public Lands

The Mammoth Cave Hotel Roof Replacement Project, funded through the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), is a significant investment that will help address the park’s backlogged maintenance needs and correct other exterior and interior deficiencies of the park’s main hotel building. In 2020, the GAOA established the National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) which provides money for projects that reduce the maintenance backlog on Federal lands.

Mammoth Cave National Park was selected as one of the first recipients of GAOA funds for the Hotel Roof Replacement Project. The $6.6 million awarded project construction cost is split between deferred maintenance (approximately 80%) work and capital improvement work (approximately 20%). The total funded project cost includes construction compliance, design, project construction, National Park Service project management, construction management, and contingency funds which is roughly $7.5 million.

A drawing of the outside of the hotel building.
An artist design rendering of the new façade, roof line, and entrance of the hotel.

NPS Graphic

A Plan for the Future

The Mammoth Cave Hotel Roof Replacement Project incorporates several elements to modernize the lodge building and improve the overall visitor experience. These elements include:

  • An update to the hotel roof and the external façade of the building. This will blend the hotel structure into the surrounding environment and match the appearance of the current visitor center building.

  • A reconfiguration of the interior lobby to enhance the functionality of the building and improve the overall visitor experience. This reconfiguration will create a more open and inviting gathering space for visitors accessing the lodge and adjacent park visitor center.  

  • New energy efficient windows and increased insulation in the roof and walls. This addition will increase the overall energy efficiency of the building.

News Releases

Loading results...
    Tags: hotel

    Mammoth Cave National Park