Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts has been off to a busy start this year renovating multiple facilities and improving visitor services throughout Shenandoah National Park.
“This is such a special destination,” said Charles Friend, Skyland’s General Manager. “We are excited to welcome past guests and show them our commitment to the property with our positive changes and upgrades, and to encourage new guests to discover the wonderful mountain retreat.”
Delaware North operates the Skyland Stables, a public facility, offering horseback rides connected to over 200 miles of trails. This spring, the stables and surrounding facilities were renovated including refurbishing the structural post on the visitor check-in building and cladding on deteriorated areas of the structure.
The Skyland Stables, originally constructed in 1939, were in need of being “saved” as the facility houses 12 horses in three original structures arranged in a U-shaped configuration with individual stalls opening into a small corral enclosed by a split rail.
What makes this project so special? This project was made possible courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Corps Network, The Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia, HOPE Crew, the National Park Service, Vintage, Inc., and Delaware North.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation launched “HOPE Crew” a “Hands-On Preservation Experience” that provide education, workforce development, and instill stewardship ethics to diverse youth while implementing historic preservation projects throughout the country.
The Skyland Stables in Shenandoah National Park was the very first HOPE Crew project! See the project in action by visiting PBS Newshour – Passing Down the Passion for Preservation with Hands-On Work. And, to learn more about HOPE visit HOPE Crew – A National Youth Corps Movement.
Forty-six room upgrades were completed just in time for the busy season and are incredibly refreshing. Details include:
- New head boards, dressers, night tables, chairs, and lamps.
- New curtains, sheets, towels, and mattresses.
- 47″ Flat screen televisions.
- Wood laminate flooring replaced carpeting.
- New artwork reflective of Shenandoah National Park’s unique natural and cultural resources.
- Re-painting and re-staining of wood floors, walls, and ceilings as appropriate.
- Removal of wood wall panels behind head boards; these will be repurposed into future facility projects.
- Reconfiguration and replacement of plumbing fixtures and accessories in the bathrooms.
- Reconfiguration and installation of floor and wall tile in the bathrooms.
- Placement of energy efficient electric Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC style) units where previously they were non-existent.
- Eight rooms are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Skyland Dining Room Lobby and “Grab ‘n Go”
The “Grab ‘n Go” section located in the dining room lobby was moved to a more convenient location so that visitors are able to easily grab a cup of coffee, snack or sandwich before leaving to explore the park. This new location also provides a comfortable space for park visitors to relax while in the area.
The addition of pastry chef, Brandon Long provides visitors with fresh pastries made at Skyland Resort. Brandon Long has over five years baking experience and joins the team most recently from the Petticoat Row Bakery in Nantucket, Massachusetts. His desserts have been featured in WellWed Magazine and in the Nantucket Film Festival Documentary. “I took an interest in baking at a young age. My passion is to create foods that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are wholesome and full of good flavors and textures.”
Lastly, roofs have been replaced on several building throughout Skyland Resort.
Background on the Park & Skyland Resort
The park was established by Congress in 1935, and today over 1.2 million visitors enjoy the unique history, geography, wildlife, and panoramic vistas from the Skyline Drive.
Located at the Skyline Drive National Historic Landmark District of the park, Skyland Resort was built in the late 1800’s. The Resort sits at an elevation of 3,680-feet, the highest point in the park, providing breathtaking views of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains making it a perfect place for summer retreat.