Work to stabilize the Paradise Inn Annex could start in August 2017, forcing closure of more than half of Mount Rainier’s hotel rooms for more than a season.
The project, once estimated to cost $22 million, should protect the annex and the snow bridge from the weight of accumulated snow or collapse due to a seismic event. The snow bridge connects the annex to the main inn.
Built in 1920, the five-story annex provides 79 guest rooms, more than half of all the overnight lodging available in the park.
Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King said the park has released an environmental assessment detailing the scope of the project.
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The assessment offers two alternatives: to do nothing or to proceed with the project.
Under the preferred alternative, a new concrete foundation would be constructed under the annex, including using existing foundation stone as a veneer to retain the historic appearance of the building. Other work would include seismic stabilization, bringing the building up to code for plumbing, electrical, fire safety and drainage, and other interior and exterior improvements.
79 Number of hotel rooms in the Paradise Inn Annex.
The assessment also details how the park and the project contractor would minimize impacts to the area around the building and to animals in the area, and what would be done if archaeological artifacts are discovered.
According to the park’s timeline, the work would close the annex Aug. 15, 2017, with the work running through October 2018. Because the inn is closed during the winter, it would reopen to visitors in May 2019.
Visitors will also have to contend with a temporary reduction in parking in the popular Paradise area.
The 42 rooms in the main building, built in 1916, would be open through the work. In the last three years, the inn has averaged 30,430 overnight stays a year.
To account for the revenue lost by the company that runs the inn, Rainier Guest Services, its current contract with the park would be extended from 10 to 15 years.
The work would be similar to a project that forced the closure of the inn in 2006-07. The annex work was to be done at the same time, but there were not enough funds in the National Park Service budget at the time.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
The plan: Review the documents at parkplanning.nps.gov/mora/piannex.
To comment: Comment online at parkplanning.nps.gov/mora/piannex, or by mail or hand delivery to Superintendent, Mount Rainier National Park, 55210 238th Ave. E., Ashford, WA 98304.
Comments will not be accepted by any other method, including fax or email. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.
The comment period is open for 30 days.