Led by National Park Service and DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., the historic hotel underwent an upgrade of the fire detection, alarm and suppression systems and renovations to the guest rooms, public spaces and exterior areas
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., March 17, 2011—The Ahwahnee, a full-service, AAA Four-Diamond property that opened in 1927, will reopen today after completion of a multi-million upgrade to the fire, life and safety systems and a remodel of its guest rooms, public spaces and exterior areas. This project was a joint effort between the National Park Service and DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., the park’s main concessioner. The Ahwahnee, a member of Historic Hotels of America, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and in 1987 it was listed as a National Historic Landmark. Designers Richard Kollath and Edward McCann of Kollath-McCann Creative Services have worked with The Ahwahnee since 1998, researched Yosemite’s archives to select textiles, colors and accessory items that are complementary to those used in the hotel between 1925 and 1942, which was established by National Park Service Historians as the “period of historic significance” for the hotel based on a comprehensive evaluation of the hotel’s history.
The results of the grand hotel’s renovation are evident immediately upon arrival with the replacement of the boardwalk leading to the main lobby. Once inside, visitors will be greeted with a wide variety of upgrades and refurbishments, which incorporated historically relevant materials.  Refurbishment was conducted in the guest rooms, hallways, Great Lounge, lobby, Dining Room, kitchen, public restrooms and exterior. The majority of the work is completed and remaining finishing touches will be in place by June.
An emphasis on simplicity, understated elegance and colors found in nature was paramount in the redesign of the guest rooms. Additions will include new bed linens, hand-loomed, custom-made throw blankets, bed frames, window treatments, woven-wood window shades, carpeting in the rooms and hallways, high-definition TV programming, newly-wired telephones and original artwork. Welcoming, earthy hues of chocolate brown, sage green, warm gold and terra cotta set the palette for the guest rooms’ new soft goods.
Throughout the renovation, materials were selected for furnishings, textiles, lighting and accessories from American companies, several of which supplied the hotel in 1927 and are still operating today. Visitors to the hotel will see new wood pieces from Stickley, hand-crafted oak Georgian arm chairs from D.R. Dimes of New Hampshire that reflect 1920s originals from the Michigan Chair Company. Additionally, 24 newly-acquired antique Persian rugs anchor welcoming seating clusters throughout the hotel’s public spaces.  Many existing furnishings, including originals from 1927, have been refreshed, reupholstered, and restored.
The Ahwahnee houses many historical artifacts, which have also been restored and curated for guests to enjoy during their visit. Guests who visit the Dining Room will notice refurbished tables and chairs and new linens. The women’s restroom on the mezzanine level (originally a Ladies Lounge when the hotel first opened) and the men’s restroom now feature new fixtures, tile, carved-wood stall doors and new, period lighting.
The Ahwahnee’s vast kitchen also underwent major renovations and additions, creating more efficiency in execution and workflow. New equipment includes energy-efficient pastry ovens, a new rotisserie oven, which now offers freshly-roasted chickens and other meats, several large walk-in coolers and an eco-friendly dishwasher.
In keeping with DNC’s GreenPath® program for environmental leadership, many of the materials being replaced at The Ahwahnee will be recycled or turned into waste-to-energy by local companies, including 4,000 yards of synthetic carpet, 1,700 yards of wool carpet, bathroom tiles, mattresses, stainless steel, wood and drywall. Additionally, the new kitchen equipment provides significant savings on power and water usage; saving up to 62% on water usage. Also, eco-friendly materials were incorporated into the remodel, which include guest room carpeting made from recyclable materials and the public restroom partitions feature recycled stone.
The remodel coincides with work to upgrade the fire detection, alarm and suppression system throughout the hotel. The projects were funded by the National Park Service and DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.
The Ahwahnee is a full-service, AAA Four-Diamond hotel located in scenic Yosemite National Park, which is home to stunning natural beauty, bountiful activities and historic charm. The Ahwahnee is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and has been accepted as a member of Historic Hotels of America, a program that recognizes hotel properties for preserving and maintaining their historic integrity, architecture and ambiance. The Ahwahnee was recognized by Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s “Reader’s Choice Awards” in 2010 as one of the top 100 resorts in the United States. For more information, visit www.yosemitepark.com/ahwahnee.
The Ahwahnee is operated by DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. (DNC), an affiliate of Delaware North Companies and the authorized National Park Service concessioner providing lodging, dining, guest recreation activities and transportation services in Yosemite.  Delaware North Companies is one of the world’s leading hospitality and food service providers.  Its family of companies includes Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International and Delaware North Companies Boston, owner of TD Garden.  Delaware North Companies is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States with revenues exceeding $2 billion annually and 50,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.  For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.
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