Shenandoah National Park announces temporary closure of Big Meadows Wayside Area

shenandoah national parkShenandoah National Park’s concessioner, Delaware North, will begin a comprehensive renovation and rehabilitation of the historic Big Meadows Wayside facility (mile 51 on Skyline Drive) on Nov. 13.

The area around the Wayside building, including the parking lot, will be temporarily closed until the project is completed next spring. The gas pumps will remain open during the construction.

The project will reconfigure the interior spaces of the Wayside by moving the food service area to the rear of the building, which is now occupied as a grocery store. The windows facing the Big Meadow will be enlarged to give the visitor a greater view of the natural surroundings of the area while they dine. The retail and grocery store will be moved to the parking lot side of the building which will allow greater efficiencies for visitors engaged in shopping. Behind the scenes, the kitchen will be modernized and upgraded for greater staff efficiency and will be able to handle a larger volume of visitors. Internal operations will transition from a full service restaurant to a fast-casual dining setting. Although a departure from the traditional business model, this change will help keep up with the high volume of guests one finds at the center point of Skyline Drive in the busy Big Meadows area. Other work includes the demolition of the gas station building as well as the planting of new vegetation near the building.

With the exception of the gas pumps and the roadway leading to the pumps, a safety fence will be set up around the wayside building, the gas station building, the lawn and parking lot. The work area within the construction fence is a hard hat and safety vest zone at all times and is closed to the public. The area will remain closed until the project is completed in the spring of 2019.

Park Superintendent Jennifer Flynn stated “We are very grateful to our partner, Delaware North, for undertaking this significant renovation project which will preserve our historic building far into the future and helps us tackle one of our deferred maintenance projects.”

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