Volcano House and Cabins to Open “Softly” Saturday
The National Park Service’s Director of the Pacific West Region, Christine Lehnertz, today signed the 15-year concession contract between Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC.
Visitors will be able to stay in the Park’s A-frame cabins and purchase a limited selection of food, drink and retail items from the Volcano House beginning Sat., Aug. 18. The Volcano House will open daily from 7:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
All 10 A-frame cabins at Nāmakanipaio Campground will open gradually, and reservations can be made by calling (808) 756-9625. Cabins start at $55 per night.
“The company not only fulfilled the qualifications required by the National Park Service, they exceeded expectations,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We are delighted to have Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC as our newest Park partner, and look forward to elevating the Volcano House, Nāmakanipaio Campground, dining experiences and retail opportunities to the next level.”
Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC will complete renovations to the cabins and to the historic 32-room hotel, opening in phases over the next 12 months. Improvements to the eight-room annex are scheduled for the first phase, and rooms could open as early as January 2013. The entire renovation project is expected to cost the company between $2.5 million and $3 million. The National Park Service has invested $4 million in seismic and fire upgrades.
According to General Manager George Mangino, the company will hire 50 employees for the hotel, which overlooks Kīlauea caldera and erupting Halema‘uma‘u. First opened in 1846, Volcano House has a storied history with many notable guests in its registry, including Mark Twain, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Isabella Bird.
Renovation plans for the Volcano House include a strong commitment to sharing Native Hawaiian culture through interpretive experiences including cultural demonstrations, artwork, and handicrafts. Sustainable Hawai‘i Island ingredients will be featured in the restaurant and other food and beverage outlets.