MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., September 1, 2015 – Mammoth Cave National Park will remain open when two major renovation projects begin onTuesday, September 8, 2015: reconstruction of the cave trail along the Historic tour route; and upgrades to the concessions facilities at Mammoth Cave Hotel.
Beginning September 8:
• The two-mile Historic tour will not be offered in its entirety until summer of 2016. The park has contracted with the Tradesmen Group Inc., of Plain City, Ohio, to reconstruct the 75-year old tourist trail built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
• The main lodge of the Mammoth Cave Hotel will close for upgrades to the electrical and HVAC systems, and installation of a fire/safety system. These utilities have not been changed since the hotel was built in the 1960s. The park has contracted with Lightsey Construction LLC of Forsyth, Georgia, for renovations of the concessions facilities.
“The park will remain open and cave tours will continue,” said Superintendent Sarah Craighead. “Lodging, food service, and other concessions services will be available on a limited basis. There will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy the park.”
To compensate for closure of the Historic tour:
• Additional cave tours have been scheduled in other sections of Mammoth Cave. Eight Domes and Dripstones tours will be offered daily, as well as three Frozen Niagara tours, two Great Onyx tours, and a Grand Avenue tour. Crawling tours will be available on weekends.
• On weekends, fall break, and spring break during the construction period, the park will open the Mammoth Passage or Discovery tours, which use a portion of the Historic route.
To compensate for closure of the main lodge:
• Forever Resorts will offer limited food service at the Caver Camp Store.
• Gifts and souvenirs will be available at the Caver Camp Store and at the Forever Resorts outlet inside the park visitor center.
• Lodging will be available in the Sunset Terrace Lodge, the Hotel Cottages, and the Woodland Cottages. Reservations must be made by telephone at 270-758-2225. Registration will occur at the Caver Camp Store. Lodging will close for the season on November 1, 2015, and reopen in March 2016.
• Forever Resorts will continue to operate the bus transportation for cave tours, as part of its contract with the park.
“We ask the public’s patience during construction,” added Craighead. “Improvements to the cave trails and the concessions facilities will allow the park to better serve our visitors and protect Mammoth Cave’s natural and cultural resources that are entrusted to our care.”