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ODNR to Rebuild Hocking Hills Lodge

October 25, 2018
ODNR

LOGAN, OH - After the Hocking Hills Dining Lodge burned down, visitors to Ohio's flagship state park have been clamoring for information on the future status of the lodge. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), the former day lodge and dining hall will be replaced with an updated facility that will include overnight lodging, a conference center, dining and day-use accommodations.

"It was disappointing to lose a building that meant a great deal to so many people when the dining lodge burned down," said ODNR Director Jim Zehringer. "This is a new opportunity for more visitors to have the option to stay overnight at Hocking Hills State Park, and we are excited to help create a place that will provide more joy and relaxation to millions of visitors in the future."

The new facility will be built where the former day lodge once stood, which is already equipped with a large parking lot, but now boasts a new path to Old Man's Cave and the newest Whispering Cave trail only feet away.

Article Photos

An artist's concept of the proposed new Hocking Hills State Park Lodge. Drawing provided by ODNR

"ODNR's commitment to rebuild the Hocking Hills State Park Lodge is just another giant step toward making this great state park a must-see attraction for travelers from all over the globe," said Julieann Burroughs, president of the Friends of Hocking Hills State Park. "The new visitors center, coupled with a rebuilt lodge, is an amazing investment in Ohio's state parks and the Hocking Hills region."

The new lodge is expected to cost approximately $30 million, with a large portion of that funding coming from the insurance settlement ODNR received following the fire that destroyed the original lodge on Dec. 8, 2016. At that time, ODNR launched a survey that allowed visitors to share suggestions on what they would like to see in a rebuilt lodge. Overwhelmingly, overnight lodging was the No. 1 priority for survey takers.

ODNR, along with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, has started the process of selecting an architecture and engineering firm that will provide a design for the new facility over the next year. Before the design is finalized, ODNR will select a construction manager to complete construction on a schedule to be shared publicly.

This project is part of a statewide initiative ODNR has undertaken to repair and update recreational facilities across the state, and this new facility, along with the new visitors center, will welcome millions of visitors from around the world to Ohio's most popular state park.

Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

 
 

 

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