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National Parks: Being Outside Yosemite gives Tenaya an edge

Courtesy Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

There isn’t always lodging and meeting space within national parks, but there is almost always a fringe of hotels, resorts and conference centers on their edges.

Take the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for example, where the Gatlinburg Convention Center in Gatlinburg, Tenn., offers 148,000 square feet of meeting space and hundreds of nearby hotel rooms within a few miles of the national park’s boundaries.

And although Yosemite National Park has more than 2,000 accommodations, from primitive cabins to the posh Ahwahnee Hotel, there is also a convenient and expanding option outside the park’s south entrance.

About 45 minutes from Yosemite Valley, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite in Fish Camp, Calif., has been in business for two decades. Since 2001, it has been owned and managed by Delaware North Companies, which also manages a number of national park lodges, including those at Yosemite National Park.

Earlier this year, the AAA Four Diamond lodge purchased the adjacent Appletree Inn, adding 50 cabins to the hotel’s 244 guest rooms.

The lodge is also adding 4,000 square feet to its 6,000-square-foot ballroom, a new larger spa and new outdoor function spaces, including a deck adjacent to the ballroom with views of the surrounding 13,000-foot peaks.

The spa, five restaurants and other amenities have made Tenaya a full-service, all-season resort. Being outside the park’s borders has allowed it to grow in ways that national park lodges cannot.

“Tenaya has all of the benefits of being in Yosemite, but there is more flexibility, because it is out of the park,” said Jonathan Farrington, regional director of sales and marketing for Delaware North.

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