All too often on these pages we document the loss of historic structures, and this one is relatively new compared to many that we have lost over the years.
The Glacier Park Lodge is located on the TransCanada Highway in the Rogers Pass between Golden and Revelstoke. The lodge has been a fixture along this stretch of highway since opening in 19631. Countless travelers stayed here, ate in the restaurant, and filled up their vehicles at the gas station.
That all changed on September 30, 2012 when the lodge closed its doors for good. The original lease had expired in 2010 but the Lodge had been running on a month-to-month basis with Parks Canada before a series of compliance issues ended the arrangement.
A series of lawsuits followed2 and Parks Canada eventually gained control of the site in October of 2016 and then announced what many suspected all along — the Glacier Park Lodge and the gas station will be demolished.3
I won’t go into detail about the lawsuits. If you want to read more, the links in my Sources section offer a good place to start.
The Lodge’s website is still up and running and shows the building when it was still in use, with cars, RVs, and tour buses abound. Based on the copyright date on the site, it was last updated in 2010. Knowing what the future would bring makes all their words ring with a different tone than they did seven years ago:
“Framed by Glacier National Parks’ spectacular jagged peaks and alpine scenery, and with some of North America’s best hiking and world class skiing available at our doorstep. We invite you to come and enjoy our own unique brand of hospitality.”
“Our mission is your comfort and enjoyment’ so join us at Glacier Park Lodge for your next incredible backcountry adventure.”
From its closure in 2012 until earlier in 2017, the Lodge deteriorated as a lack of maintenance, vandals, and explorers all took their tolls on the building in various ways.
When we stopped here, the buildings were boarded up and secured behind construction fencing which eliminated any thoughts we might have had of doing a more in-depth investigation. We were forced to settle for some photos from the outside. I would have loved to see inside as the limited views we had from outside the fence revealed light fixtures and things still remain. They could have made some money by charging for tours of the interior but we know lawyers would never allow that.
It would have been great to see some more creative solutions put forward from our elected officials rather than demolition but that would have been too much to ask. At least we got to see it one last time. I suspect we won’t be back before it is gone. Frankly, I’m surprised it lasted a full year since the demolition plans were formally announced.
Farewell to a TransCanada Highway icon.
1Gignac, T. (2012, October 19). Iconic, aging Glacier Park Lodge in Rogers Pass forced into receivership. Retrieved October 13, 2017, from http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/Iconic aging Glacier Park Lodge Rogers Pass forced into receivership/7412840/story.html
2Corday, C. (2016, July 29). Lawsuits leave B.C. lodge in spectacular park derelict. Retrieved October 13, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/glacier-park-lodge-derelict-1.3677278
3McElroy, J. (2016, October 20). Derelict lodge in Glacier National Park will be torn down says Parks Canada. Retrieved October 13, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/parks-canada-to-tear-down-derelict-lodge-in-glacier-national-park-1.3813258