Crater restaurant-gift shop nears completion
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, OR
January 05, 2006
By LEE JUILLERAT
CRATER LAKE – From the outside it looks like an odd-sized snowy hill.
Inside, it’s a pack rat’s nest, with a spaghetti-like tangle of wires and heating ducts along with stacks of drywall and insulation fitted between beams and joists.
Within a few months, after the snow melts and the interior work is completed, Crater Lake National Park and Xanterra Parks & Resorts officials believe the still-under-construction building will help transform the park’s Mazama Village.
“It’s going to be a beautiful building, and it will add a different and nice dimension to Mazama Village and the park overall,” said Chuck Lundy, the park’s superintendent. “I think the building has a great architectural look.”
“This will be the centerpiece of the village,” agreed Craig Peterson, the facility engineer for Xanterra, the park’s concessionaire.
Peterson is overseeing construction of the 10,443-square-foot restaurant-gift shop in the Mazama Village area near the park’s south entrance. Interior work is scheduled to continue through the winter and spring. The cost, including furniture, fixtures and equipment, is $3.2 million.
Construction began last year. Despite winter storms, Peterson expects the building to be ready in June when other Mazama Village facilities – campground, gas station, motel units, laundromat, store and showers – open.
“We are working under some pretty adverse conditions here,” Peterson said. “About the time we shoveled out and were ready to work, we get whoomped by the next storm.”
The yet-to-be-named restaurant-gift shop will replace the Rim Village cafeteria-gift shop, which was closed last year as part of continuing efforts to return Rim Village to its early 1900s appearance.
The new Mazama gift shop will span 1,200 square feet, only slightly larger than the temporary gift shop at the Rim Village Community House and a sharp drop from the 6,000 square feet at the old rim location.
Peterson and Lundy say the new facility will benefit visitors by providing a full range of services in Mazama Village area and reducing congestion at Rim Village. The building is being constructed as part of the concessions facilities improvement program between Xanterra and the National Park Service in conjunction with the park’s visitor services plan.
Peterson is excited because the construction reflects Xanterra’s long-time commitment to environmental sustainability. The building is targeted for LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Features of the building’s “sustainable architectural design” include sustainably harvested wood products, state-of-the-art air circulation systems, an airlock vestibule to limit air infiltration, energy used to reheat interior spaces and formaldehyde-free and post-consumer recycled materials.
Peterson said the facility will be 100 percent powered by renewable energy purchases and has fixtures to reduce water consumption by 40 percent. In addition, the parking lot, with spaces for 35 vehicles and five buses, was redesigned to preserve trees initially targeted for removal.
“Whenever you save water and power you’re definitely saving money down the road,” Peterson said.
Former Xanterra Parks & Resorts general manager Dominie Lenz, who has since moved to company operations at the Grand Canyon, said the facility will be a model for future national park buildings.
“Our goal in constructing this future landmark is to retain the classic lodge look similar to the grandeur of the Crater Lake Lodge,” Lenz said. “We are constructing this building with the intention of it one day becoming a historic landmark.”
The facility will have 35 to 45 employees in the restaurant and gift shop. The main dining area will have seating for 64, with 34 seats in adjacent alternate dining and 36 seats in the outdoor summer patio. The interior will include a rock fireplace, historic park photos and natural wood finishes while the exterior will have cedar siding and stonework.
“We definitely want it to project the National Park Service rustic look,” Peterson said. “There’s some history being done here with work at the Rim and Mazama villages. It’s not often you get to build and make a mark in a national park.”