Two private companies that operate the general stores, lodges and campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park received the green light to build more seasonal employee housing.
Yellowstone officials say the Park Service approved the project’s environmental assessment in July. It allows park concessionaires, Delaware North and Xanterra, to create more housing at Canyon Village and the West Entrance. Construction could begin this fall on six modular homes and 39 RV sites.
Funding will come from the two concessionaires — not the Park Service.
Delaware North and Xanterra employ about 3,200 people in Yellowstone during the peak summer season. The environmental assessment says additional housing is necessary because the number of seasonal employees has increased while housing has not.
Park officials say rental options are limited in gateway communities and commuting would not be practical for employees who work in Yellowstone’s interior.
The housing project will include redeveloping an abandoned camper loop at Canyon Campground to serve Xanterra employees. Up to six modular homes and 14 RV sites will be added, and the shower and laundry facilities will be renovated.
Twenty-five RV sites and a bath house will also be built next to the Yellowstone General Stores’ warehouse near the west entrance for Delaware North employees.
Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly has identified improving park staff housing as a top priority in the park’s strategic five year plan. A spokesperson says the park plans to build a new eight-plex at Lake Village next year to replace four trailers.