Kalaloch Lodge reopens despite Olympic National Park shutdown
By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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“We got word Saturday evening that we could open Kalaloch Lodge resume operating as normal,” said Alicia Thompson, regional director of sales and marketing for Delaware North Companies, the firm that runs Kalaloch Lodge as a concessionaire for the National Park Service.
Staff at the front desk reported Monday afternoon that they had five rooms occupied Sunday night after opening the 64-room resort, dining room and gift shops, and said a dozen reservations had been made for Monday night.
Though the lodge was permitted to reopen, Olympic National Park beaches and trails were still off-limits because of the partial government shutdown.
Delaware North petitioned the park service to reopen Kalaloch, Thompson said, because it has no gate to keep U.S. Highway 101 traffic out.
“Because there’s no barrier to entry, it made it hard to keep people out,” Thompson said.
The highway route passes through sections of Olympic National Park unaffected by the half-month shutdown.
The firm was also allowed to reopen lodges at Yosemite National Park in California and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia for the same reason, she said.
Delaware signed a 10-year contract to operate Kalaloch in May 2012.
The park’s Lake Crescent Lodge, Log Cabin Resort and Sol Duc Hot Springs, managed by Aramark Inc., remained closed Monday.
“Lake Crescent Lodge will reopen when the government shutdown ends,” said a recording on Lake Crescent Lodge’s telephone.
Sol Duc was already set to close for the season today, Oct. 15.
Lake Quinault Lodge has remained open because it is inside Olympic National Forest, not the park.
Peninsula Daily News’ attempts to contact the Interior Department by email were not returned Monday.
“Due to limited staffing during the government shutdown, this mailbox will be checked periodically. Thank you for your patience as we work to respond,” read an automated email response.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: October 14. 2013 6:32PM