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The Year Was 1957 and the Place Was Alaska's McKinley Park Hotel

July 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM | by | ()

Happy Independence Day! This year, we're celebrating with a patriotic look back at one of the United States' most historic hotels: the McKinley Park Hotel in Mt. McKinley National Park, Alaska. Really, what's more "nuclear family" traditional Americana than a National Park?

We recently came across a vintage pamphlet from a stay at the hotel in the summer of 1957. The yellowed pages tout the 86-room property as "a friendly hotel in Alaska's scenic land of the midnight sun" and a perfect location for spotting the multitude of wildlife of the park, whose land measures an impressive 1,939,493 acres.

The McKinley Park Hotel of 1957 offered $15 8-hour park tours, $20 12-hour tours, nature trail hikes, a "park interpretative program" with "natural color slides and movies of Mt. McKinley," plus fishing of the park's lakes to catch Dolly Varden and Mackinaw trout. If you just wanted to stay on-property, the lodge had the usual comforts: a tennis court, badminton, ping pong, "lawn and parlor games," and evening dancing.

We wish we could tell you what the current McKinley Park Hotel offers, but sadly the place burned up in 1972. It was replaced, but even the newer construction hotel was closed for good in 2001, thanks to the proliferation of other hotels just outside the park gates.

Now we are only left with this pamphlet, and we can only gawk at the 1957 nightly rates printed on it:

[Scans: HotelChatter]

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