Old Faithful Inn closed for 2020, Yellowstone park concessions will be severely limited

Ed. Note: Xanterra has since update language on its website to “make it clear that things may change,” said Rick Hoeninghausen, director of sales and marketing for Yellowstone National Park Lodges. What we’re doing is based on what we know in the moment,” Hoeninghausen said. “Things may change.” 

JACKSON, Wyo. — With decisions on Yellowstone’s opening still in flux, the park’s main concessioner has had to make decisions now that will affect operations this summer—the most significant of which will mean the iconic Old Faithful Inn will not reopen in 2020.

Authorized concessionaire Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates lodging, restaurants, and retail in Yellowstone National Park. It is the largest concessioner in the park with more than 830 buildings, 9 hotels with 2,000-plus rooms, and more than 30 food services facilities and tour operations.

On Tuesday, Xanterra announced drastic staff cuts for its Yellowstone operations—reducing employees from the normal 3,500 for lodging operations to only 800. In addition, there will be no sit-down dine-in options anywhere in Yellowstone; all dining will be “grab and go” options only. Retail restrictions will include limiting the number of shoppers inside gift stores at any given time.

Roosevelt Lodge will begin canceling reservations and issuing refunds. Photo: NPS

Earlier in the week, Xanterra President and CEO Andrew Todd had hoped to resume operations in Yellowstone soon after the current May 21 closure date announced by the National Park Service. That opening date for Xanterra is now looking like June 15…maybe.

“This decision was not easy and we recognize the significant impact on your travel plans, but we know that this is the responsible path forward to continue to help slow the spread of the disease,” Todd stated.

And the biggest bummer for tourists will be the closure of Old Faithful Inn, Grant Village, and Roosevelt Lodge for the entire 2020 season. Those with reservations at any of these lodging facilities this summer will have their reservations canceled and be refunded their money.

Only lodging facilities with cabins with private baths will be open this summer. Frontier cabins, Western cabins, and Cottages only will be available at the following locations and revised operating seasons:

  • Mammoth Hotel: June 15 – November 1, 2020
  • Old Faithful Lodge: June 15 – October 4, 2020
  • Old Faithful Snow Lodge: June 15 – October 25, 2020
  • Lake Hotel: June 17 – October 4, 2020
  • Lake Lodge: June 17 – September 27, 2020
  • Canyon Lodge: June 19 – October 12, 2020

Tours and activities will be limited to guide boats, boat rentals and dock slips at the marina, horseback rides at Canyon Lodge, and bike rentals at Old Faithful Snow Lodge. No road-based tours, Scenicruise, Stagecoach rides, or Old West Cookout.

Packages will not be available due to limited services, and group bus/van transportation is discontinued for the season. Current 2020 package reservations will be canceled automatically and refunded.

Xanterra campgrounds will be open as follows. Guests with a reservation do not need to take any action as these reservations are unaffected.

Madison Campground is tentatively scheduled to be open June 15 through October 18, 2020. Photo: NPS
  • Madison Campground: June 15 – October 18, 2020
  • Bridge Bay Campground: June 17 – September 7, 2020
  • Canyon Campground: June 19 – September 20, 2020
  • Grant Village Campground: June 17 – September 13, 2020
  • Fishing Bridge will remain closed through fall of 2021

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