State announces plans for new Hocking Hills Lodge

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By Grace Warner 


On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources shared that the new Hocking Hills State Park Lodge will have overnight stay options. This is the artist rendering of the proposed new lodge.


LOGAN — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has announced official plans for reconstruction of the Hocking Hills Dining Lodge, with overnight stay options to be included at the lodge.

The lodge burned down on Dec. 8, 2016, and since then local residents and visitors have been anxious to hear about the upcoming plans for a new lodge.

“It was disappointing to lose a building that meant a great deal to so many people when the dining lodge burned down,” said ODNR director James Zehringer. “This is a new opportunity for more visitors to have the option to stay overnight at Hocking Hills State Park, and we are excited to help create a place that will provide more joy and relaxation to millions of visitors in the future.”

ODNR conducted a public survey to determine what local residents and tourists alike wanted most in the new building.

The most common answer for what was most appreciated about the old lodge was the large windows with great views and the pool with the concession area.

The highest requested feature was overnight lodging. Other requests included outdoor deck for dining, gift shop, indoor pool, green LED certified, a game room and a cafe/coffee shop.

Additional amenities people wanted to see included an improved pool at the campground, a shuttle service, better parking and WiFi or better cell coverage.

“It will also have a conference center, day use facility dining and much, much, more. The Hocking Hills Lodge will provide our guests relaxation, refreshments, great dining and now you can stay the night,” Zehringer said.

The new lodge will be built at the location of the former lodge.

According to an ODNR news release, the new lodge is expected to cost roughly $30 million with a large portion of that funding coming from the insurance settlement ODNR received after the fire.

Julieann Burroughs, president of the board of Friends of Hocking Hills, thanked all of her fellow board members and staff.

“(Zehringer’s) team and their commitment to the state parks, you see it, it exudes through them, everything that you want to bring to the region and not just the Hocking Hills State Park region, the entire — your commitment to the entire state park region is second to none, so thank you,” Burroughs said.

ODNR, along with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, has started the process of selecting an architecture and engineering firm that will provide a design for the new facility over the next year. Before the design is finalized, ODNR will select a construction manager.

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Grace Warner is a reporter for The Logan Daily News.