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Falling Rocks at Yosemite Forces Hotel Ahwahnee Guests to Evacuate

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  Site Where: 9005 Ahwahnee Drive [map], Yosemite National Park, CA, United States, 95389
August 27, 2009 at 9:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

Staying at The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park will always be a memorable experience. For the folks that can cough up $500+ for a night's stay, they will have the memories of waking up to killer views of the park's granite Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. Guests will also be sleeping inside a historic hotel, first built in 1927 (nearly prehistoric days for California) and designed during the Arts & Craft movement where everything had to be homemade. ("Machines are evil!" was the prevailing thought of this movement.)

Oh and if the hotel gets evacuated because of falling rocks behind it, that's even more memorable. Kinda. Three hundred guests at the hotel had to be evacuated yesterday after falling rocks, some as big as "microwave ovens", crashed into the hotel's valet parking lot.

No injuries were reported but the hotel evacuated just to be safe. The AP reports:

"It's all very mellow right now," [park spokesman Scott] Gediman said. "We asked people to leave as a precaution while geologists investigate."

Dust from the avalanche, which started around noon, temporarily obscured views of Half Dome.

Guests of the historic 125-room hotel were directed to the south lawn behind the hotel while geologists checked the stability and assessed the likelihood that more rocks would fall. Gediman expected they would be allowed to return to their rooms by late afternoon.

Well, at least for $500+ a night they got a little excitement with it.

Yet this isn't the first time the Ahwahnee has been deemed unsafe. Back in March, concerns arose about the hotel's ability to withstand a major earthquake. Retrofits were suggested which would close the hotel down for about two years. But still no word on whether that's going to happen.

While one person felt the Ahwahnee was worth "falling through the center of the earth," we'll probably spend our duckets elsewhere.

[Photo: Associated Press]

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