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Princess Tours Spending $26 Million to Expand Two Lodges near Denali National Park
By Richard Richtmyer, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 

Dec. 11, 2003 - Construction is under way at Princess Tours' two Denali National Park area wilderness lodges -- Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and Mount McKinley Wilderness Lodge -- as they prepare for next season with $26 million in enhancements. 

The expansion will add 176 rooms -- 80 at the Denali lodge, and 96 at McKinley -- giving Princess a total of 766 rooms to offer next summer, said Julie Benson, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based cruise and tour company. 

"They've been an incredibly popular part of our cruise tour," Benson said, adding that both lodges were booked to capacity last season. 

In addition to the new rooms at the Denali lodge, near the park entrance, Princess is building a 16,000-square-foot main lodge building with a "great room" similar to those found in other wilderness lodges, as well as a new deli and espresso bar, Benson said. 

Features of the great room will include vaulted ceilings with exposed timbers, 30-foot-high glass windows framing a view of the park and Mount Healy, and a double-sided, two-story stone fireplace, she said. 

New landscaping, including 500 trees and new walking paths, also are part of the Denali lodge expansion plan, as is the addition of five shops, Benson said. 

In addition to the rooms at the Mount McKinley lodge, which is inside the park 41 miles from its namesake mountain, a new pizza shop, called Expedition Pizza, is being built, she said. 

Construction at both places, which is being managed by Anchorage-based Criterion General Inc., is scheduled to be finished by the summer, Benson said. 

-----To see more of the Anchorage Daily News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to 

(c) 2003, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. 


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