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Yellowstone Lake Hotel celebrates 125 years of hosting park visitors

The National Park Service is observing its centennial this summer, but it was a grand old hotel 25 years older than the Park Service that kicked off the season's festivities in Yellowstone National Park on Friday. Dozens gathered at Yellowstone Lake Hotel to celebrate the structure's designation last year as a National Historic Landmark, and to mark 125 years since the hotel opened to the public in 1891. Continue Reading →

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New Yellowstone housing features green building, design elements

Dylan Hoffman, director of environmental affairs in Yellowstone for Xanterra Parks and Resorts, stands near the entrance to Paintbrush Lodge, a newly completed employee dormitory in Yellowstone National Park.

Staff accommodations in Yellowstone National Park have typically leaned toward the more rustic end of the spectrum, starting with a series of remote cabins built by U.S. Army soldiers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Guest quarters have at times been only marginally better, with some lodging meant as temporary housing still being used a half-century later. So it was with understandable fanfare that a Yellowstone lodging concessioner earlier this month showed off two new environmentally friendly housing projects, both built using modular construction, and with a focus on sustainable building and design practices. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone Lake Hotel reopens after $28.5 million renovation

People gather Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting celebrating completion of a 2-year, $28.5 million renovation of Lake Hotel in Yellowstone National Park.

The oldest hotel in the world's first national park had a distinct aroma of fresh paint as summer guests began arriving this week. But the major renovations being wrapped up at Yellowstone Lake Hotel go far beyond new paint, as workers are completing a 2-year, $28.5 million makeover that has focused on restoring the iconic property to its historic elegance. Continue Reading →

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Summer tourism employers seek workers as federal wage hike looms

Topher Reimers tends bar at the Bear Pit in the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. Reimers had worked for six years in the park when this photo was taken in June 2006. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate file photo)

Workers looking for a summer tourism industry job in the greater Yellowstone area are likely to have better prospects this year than at any time since the 2008 recession, but job-seekers who act now will be have more options than those who wait until spring. Industry insiders say the employment market for seasonal workers in national parks and gateway communities is increasingly favorable for employees. But it appears too soon to know how a newly announced wage hike for federal contractors is likely to affect the region's seasonal tourism job market over the long term. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone concessioner offers winter shuttle from Bozeman to Mammoth Hot Springs

Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the main concessioner operating lodging, restaurants and activities in Yellowstone National Park, will begin offering a winter shuttle service from the Bozeman, Mont. airport to Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. The service will cost $51.50 and coincide with the park’s winter season marked by the opening of Old Faithful Snow Lodge Dec. 18, 2013 and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, which opens Dec. 20. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone and Grand Teton concessioners volunteer to benefit local communities

Jim McCaleb, left, general manager of Xanterra Parks & Resorts' Yellowstone operations, presents packpacks full of school supplies in Gardiner, Mont. (courtesy photo)

As summer winds down and crowds begin to thin a little in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, concessioners are working to give back to local communities with projects that benefit people, wildlife and habitat. Xanterra Parks & Resorts, operator of lodges, restaurants and other concessions in Yellowstone Park, recently donated hundreds of backpacks filled with school supplies to students in need at four Montana school districts near the park. Continue Reading →

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Indiana boy enjoys Yellowstone Park dream vacation after recovering from leukemia

Nathan Bartlett, 8, holds two flags given to him by Xanterra Parks & Resorts atop the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. (NPS photo by Dan Hottle - click to enlarge)

An Indiana boy and his family enjoyed a Yellowstone National Park dream vacation last month thanks to a charity in his home state and the generosity and hospitality of people in the park and a nearby gateway community. "The trip and everybody involved just far exceeded everything that we expected. Everybody just bent over backwards to do great things for us," said Nathan Bartlett, whose son, Christopher was diagnosed in 2009 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Christopher, 8, of Whitting, Ind. is doing well now after a tough course of chemotherapy, his father said, so they boy was able to make the most of a family vacation sponsored by the Northwest Indiana chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Continue Reading →

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Guided Yellowstone hikes with naturalist offer chance to see park’s backcountry

Yellowstone hikes — Lamar Valley

Yellowstone National Park visitors who want to experience the park's backcountry but perhaps aren't ready for a series of Yellowstone hikes on their own can join "the 2 percent" this summer on a Trails Through Yellowstone package from the Yellowstone Park Foundation. A couple of popular statistics often cited about travel in Yellowstone Park are that less than 2 percent of visitors venture more than 100 yards from a paved road or boardwalk and that only 2 percent of the park is accessible by paved road. Either way, if you want to be among the elite 2 percent who take Yellowstone hikes into the park's backcountry, you'll have to park the car and venture out. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone and Grand Teton food producers reap benefits from sustainability

Cody resident Amy Quick browses produce offered by Shoshone River Farm at a farmers' market in Cody, Wyo. (Elijah Cobb/click to enlarge)

A growing list of farmers and ranchers around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are using a mix of old ways and new techniques to supply sustainably produced food to travelers who crave authenticity and quality. Premiere purveyors in the parks are helping to drive a local sustainable food movement that allows small producers to grow their businesses and maintain agricultural production across Yellowstone country. Continue Reading →

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