East Hawaii News

Contract Signed For Operation Of Volcano House

August 14, 2012, 1:41 PM HST
* Updated August 14, 4:12 PM
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The National Park Service today signed a 15-year contract for the operation of the Volcano House and other concessions at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

Beginning on Saturday, the Volcano House on the rim of Halema`uma`u Crater will be open daily from 7:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with a limited selection of food, drink and retail items available.

The A-frame cabins at Namakanipao Campground also will begin being made available to the public. Reservations for the cabins starting at $55 per night are available by calling (808) 756-9625.

The new concessionaire, Hawai`i Volcanoes Lodge Co., which is owned by Ortega National Parks, LLC and Aqua Hotels and Resorts, Inc., will spend the next 12 months completing renovations to the cabins and to the historic 32-room hotel.

The next phase involves improvements to the hotel’s eight-room annex where rooms could open as early as January, Hawai`i Volcanoes said in a statement.

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The entire renovations are expected to cost up to $3 million.

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The concession contract for the previous vendor, Hilo Businessman Ken Fujiyama, ended in 2009, and park officials had hoped to start a new contract two years ago but didn’t get any takers. Hawai`i Volcanoes Lodge Co., was the winning bidder after terms of the contract were reconfigured.

“The company not only fulfilled the qualifications required by the National Park Service, they exceeded expectations,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We are delighted to have Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC as our newest Park partner, and look forward to elevating the Volcano House, Nāmakanipaio Campground, dining experiences and retail opportunities to the next level.”

In addition to the work by the new contractor, the National Park Service also carried out more than $4 million in improvements including fire, safety and seismic upgrades.

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