Constructed in the early 1960’s, the Mammoth Cave Hotel had ceased to meet visitor needs. In addition, it was no longer visually compatible with the new Visitors Center just constructed across the ravine. As the concessionaire contract was up for renewal, the NPS decided to bring in the concession team along with HagerSmith Design to determine the best solution for maximizing concession profitability and visitor service while also making an overall better visitor experience. A program with three options was developed in a programming workshop facilitated by HagerSmith Design. The options included a total renovation of the existing facility, a renovation of the public areas and replacement of the room wing, and total replacement of the existing building.
Condition assessments and site analysis were completed for multiple buildings on the site to help inform the alternatives. Pre-design concepts of the three options were then developed into three Schematic Design Alternatives.
The project then went through a Value Analysis Workshop, which identified a total replacement of the existing facilities as the preferred alternative.