After 20 years of planning, the National Park Service (NPS) completed, in August 2019, an extensive $30 million rehabilitation and renovation of the historic 1938 Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Yellowstone and Xanterra Travel Collection in Yellowstone partnered to preserve and maintain the historic look and feel of this important art moderne structure that was originally designed by architect Robert Reamer. The hotel, cottages, and companion dining room, is the epicenter of commercial visitor services at Mammoth, and is adjacent to Fort Yellowstone, the park's headquarters. The position of the two developments symbolize the relationship between the NPS and concessioners working together to serve visitors and protect and manage the park.
This is the latest in a long line of renovations to the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel that responded to changes in transportation, park management, visitation, and facility conditions. While the renovation maintains the art moderne style, it adds new private bathrooms to guest rooms, new windows, new conference rooms, structural and seismic stabilization, and Americans with Disabilities Act access. In addition, electrical systems were upgraded.
The project included the restoration of historic mahogany woodwork coupled with new matching woodwork in new areas such as the conference rooms. New handrails with bronze inserts and original lamps in guest rooms carefully restored and moved into the hotel hallways are examples of how the NPS and Xanterra kept to the style of the original hotel. Highly trained NPS restoration specialists carefully rehabilitated Robert Reamer’s famous wooden map in the Map Room.
Visitors can enjoy new gift and ski shops. New conference rooms provide meeting space for public and private functions.
These significant improvements prepare the hotel for its next phase of life, with an emphasis towards sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint. For example, all of the newly laid carpet is recycled. The project brought the "shine" back to this beautiful, elegant gathering space that will operate nearly year-round.
Historically, the Mammoth Hot Springs area was the first stop inside the park for visitors after a long journey to experience “America’s Wonderland.” The first Mammoth Hotel, also called the National Hotel, was built in Queen Anne style in 1883. Visitors arrived at the National Hotel by 6-horse “Tally Ho” Yellowstone Observation Coaches where they would board 4-horse stagecoaches for the “Grand Loop” tour of the park. Considered one of the first “grand” hotels in any national park, the Mammoth Hotel was an important structure in the history of park visitation.
In 1913, the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel underwent a major reconstruction overseen by Robert Reamer, the architect responsible for designing the Old Faithful Inn. This renovation saw a new east wing of guest rooms (still standing today), the demolition of an entire floor, and a new flat roof.
Another major renovation began in 1936, again under architect Robert Reamer. It essentially cut the hotel in two—leaving the dining room separate from the new lobby and map room and the 1913 east guest room wing. Reamer also added a recreation hall and the cottages, still located behind the hotel today. The building was painted a light gray and remodeled in what would be known as the Art Moderne style. Art Moderne is an architectural style of the 1930s and 1940s characterized by streamlined, horizontal structures with flat roofs and curved walls or rounded corners. The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel remains one of only a few art moderne hotels in the National Park System.
The park celebrated this newest renovation with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, refreshments, and tours on August 30, 2019 in front of the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Visitors listened to remarks from Yellowstone National Park’s superintendent, the National Park Service project manager, and the general manager of Xanterra. Visitors also took tours of the renovated hotel, spoke with a NPS museum staff member about Reamer’s map, and met a park ranger for a “Calling in the Cavalry Walk” around the historic Fort Yellowstone.