Mount Rainier National Park’s historic Paradise Inn, recently selected as one of the 10 best national park places to stay by National Geographic Explorer magazine, is closing its doors Oct. 10 for major rehabilitation and structural improvements during 2006 and 2007.
Mount Rainier National Park boasts another hotel that operates year round and will remain open during Paradise Inn’s renovations – the historic National Park Inn. The National Park Inn offers lodging, dining, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and a gift shop. The Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise and the Sunrise Day Lodge will also remain open during the renovation.
Congress recently approved funds to renovate the historic inn. The improvements will consist of seismic stabilization to the 88-year-old structure while maintaining the historic architectural features including the three massive stone fireplaces. Managed by Guest Services, Inc., Paradise Inn is a 118-room, two-and-one-half-story structure of log frame construction built during 1916-17 in the sub-alpine region of Paradise Valley on the slopes of Mount Rainier.
Logs of Alaskan Cedar charred by a fire and taken from the nearby Silver Forest was used for the facility.
The original building consisted of the main portion containing the lobby, with dining room and kitchen wings to the north. Guestrooms were on the second floor above the dining room. A three-story wing on the building’s east side contained additional guestrooms and suites. The annex was constructed in 1920 to provide guestrooms with private bathrooms.
During the winter of 1919, German carpenter Hans Frayne stayed in the inn to design the decorative woodwork that exists today. Some of his creations include a rustic piano, ornate 14-foot grandfather clock, and a 1,500-pound table. Summer at Paradise offers visitors an array of activities from hiking, fishing, climbing and naturalist programs.
At an elevation of 5,400 feet, Paradise Inn traditionally closes from October to May due to heavy snowfall. The structure receives considerable wear and tear each winter from an average of more than 50 feet of snowfall annually. Each spring, employees uncover the hotel from hundreds of inches of melting snow and prepare the inn and dining room for summer tourists.
Guests last chance to visit the inn before it closes is Sunday, Oct. 9. The inn’s last Sunday Brunch is Sept. 25.
Guest Services, Inc. operates both Paradise Inn and the National Park Inn at Longmire, the only overnight lodging facilities located in Mount Rainier National Park. Paradise Inn is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservations’ Historic Hotel program. For more information on Mount Rainier National Park, please call (360) 569-2275 or visit http://www.guestservices.com/rainier.