Canyon Village, Yellowstone – Can you imagine building a hotel by stacking one floor on top of another? That’s what’s happening in Yellowstone. The Park’s lodging concessionaire, Xanterra, tore out hundreds of old cabins in Canyon Village, and started construction this summer on five new lodges to replace them. The new lodges are actually modular jigsaw puzzles.
Construction activities are moving at a frenzied pace. A foundation is being poured for one lodge, while the other awaits it’s next moving part. That would be one of the modules sitting nearby.
Project Manager Devin Wille said there are lots of them, “154 total for three buildings. That’s only for phase one. There’s two buildings that’s probably about 100 units more in phase two.”
And, these aren’t just empty shells. They have hotel rooms inside, which are already equipped with sustainable building materials.
Xanterra Assistant General Manager Mia Bell explained, “In the woodwork, the beetle killed pine. And, the countertops made from Fly Ash and Recycled glass”
On this day, there was some concern about stacking the next modular. Rain was threatening, but Wille said winter is just around the corner. The short construction season is one of the reason’s they decided to go modular.
He remarked, “The springs are very wet, a lot of snow. So if we were to stick frame it, it would probably take five years to build this project.”
Wille said the modular are actually stronger than traditional construction.
Each one of modular units weighs more than twenty tons. But the more than 200 ton crane can handle it. Finally the decision was made to go ahead. The plastic wrap was peeled, and large straps were attached The lift began. Slowly, and carefully, the third floor unit was eased up, and into place. It was lowered next to the last stack. This one came together without a hitch. Wille said the only damage after placing 30 units, is one broken window.
Construction workers hope to have three of the five new lodges assembled by November.