The Blue Ridge Parkway's Peaks of Otter Lodge is scheduled to open July 15 under new concessionaire, Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts. Reservations are currently being taken for the upcoming season that will run through December 16.
Locating one or more concessionaires for three of the four lodges on the parkway has been a lengthy process. Initially, Peaks of Otter was included with Rocky Knob Cabins and Bluffs Lodge in a single concession proposal. Unable to locate a bidder, the National Park Service decided to offer the lodges in separate proposals. Delaware North was lured into bidding for Peaks of Otter after the NPS bought down a large portion of the required payment to the previous concessionaire.
Peaks of Otter Lodge will reopen in mid-July. David and Kay Scott photo.
The Park Service has also located a concessionaire for Rocky Knob Cabins, although this small facility has suffered a delayed opening because of damage sustained during the winter. No concessionaire has yet been located for Bluffs Lodge, which has unfortunately remained vacant for several years. Pisgah Inn, the fourth lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is operated by a separate concessionaire.
Delaware North is planning a number of upgrades to Peaks of Otter, including televisions and wireless Internet. In addition, the 63 guest rooms are being redecorated. Double rooms will rent for approximately $140 per night, with discounts available to the military and AAA members. Rates will be higher during the peak fall season. Reservations are available online at www.peaksofotter.com, or by calling (888) 454-7711.
Delaware North also won the bidding to operate the three lodging facilities in neighboring Shenandoah National Park. These lodges had long been operated by ARAMARK Parks & Destinations.