The National Park Service has given final approval for a project that will stabilize the Paradise Inn Annex but force closure of the building in August.
Laura Joss, Pacific West regional director for the Park Service, released her decision Friday.
The five-story annex, built in 1920, provides 79 guest rooms, more than half of the overnight lodging available in Mount Rainier National Park.
The work-related closure will make the coveted rooms unavailable until late spring 2019.
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The project, estimated at $22 million, will strengthen the annex and the snow bridge to protect them from the weight of accumulated snow or from collapse because of an earthquake. The snow bridge connects the annex to the main inn.
A concrete foundation will be constructed under the annex, with existing foundation stone used as a veneer to retain the historic appearance of the building.
Other work will include seismic stabilization, bringing the building up to code for plumbing, electrical, fire safety and drainage, plus other interior and exterior improvements.
According to the park’s timeline, the the annex will be closed to visitors starting Aug. 15, with work running through fall 2018.
Because the inn and annex are closed during the winter, the annex is not expected to reopen until late spring 2019.
Visitors will have to contend with a temporary reduction in parking spaces at the popular Paradise area.
The 42 rooms in the main building, built in 1916, will be open during the work. The 25 rooms at the National Park Inn in Longmire also will be available.
The contract for the company that runs the inn, Rainier Guest Services, will be extended from 10 years to 15 years to account for revenue lost during the closure.
The work will be similar to a project that closed the inn in 2006-07. The annex work was to be done at the same time, but there weren’t enough funds in the National Park Service budget at the time.