Here it is, just a short tour bus ride away from Brickler Mountain National Park, the Glacier Falls Lodge! Once a shining railway hotel on a cliff near the waterfall, it has undergone several downsizes in the years that followed its construction.
This grand old building is all that is left of the original lobby and its surroundings, as the rest of the hotel was demolished to make way for another, more modern hotel. The preserved lobby section has become a large vacation home on the original property, and is rented out by the owners of the new chain that has constructed a brand new hotel in the area. It is the most requested building among the collection of suites, cabins, and other lodgings in the area, and is often booked solid at least eight months in advance.
This MOC is also up on LEGO Ideas! (A resubmission of the original MOC). Please be sure to support if you like it! :)
And now a brief history of the hotel over the years!
The Glacier Falls Lodge, Whistler Mountain National Park (Washington)
- Burned down when a guest left a candle burning and it lit the drapes in room 23
The Glacier Falls Lodge
- 1907 - 1924
- Serviced by a new Trans-Cascades railway built specifically to reach the hotel and the attractions of the park, normally cut off during the winter.
The Glacier Falls Resort and Lodge
- Purchased by Dr. Thomas Witherspoon in 1926, the refurbished and redesigned hotel's appearance was widely panned by critics, and became known as Witherspoon's Folly. Briefly closed down when Witherspoon lost everything in the Depression and was forced to sell.
The Glacier Falls Hotel
- 1939 - 1957
- Newly rebuilt and quickly becoming a destination for Alpine enthusiasts, the Glacier Falls Hotel became the premiere resort in the Pacific Northwest, increasing tourism in Brickler Mountain National Park.
Alpine skiing was king, though visitor rates dropped significantly during the war years.
- On May 17, 1957 a Brickler Mountain tour bus carrying 34 passengers lost control, careened down the lawn, and slammed into the East Wing of the hotel, causing significant damage and resulting in the deaths of 12 minifigures.
The Glacier Falls Hotel and Spa
- 1960 - 1995
- The repair and refurbishment of the hotel made it much smaller, but the owners compensated with the addition of a season warm pool with filtered water drawn from Glacier Lake.
It was during this time period that the Hotel lost prominence due to the rival Palisades Hotel constructed 45 miles away, on the shores of Lake Diablo. Though the recently completed North Cascades Highway opened September 2, 1972, it still closed during the winters, leaving the Palisades Hotel a more attractive option for travelers who didn't want to take the train and take their vehicles instead.
The Palisades Hotel (1986-present) continues to exist, created into a historic monument and remaining the second largest hotel in the Cascades and a premiere mini figure vacation destination.
Towards the end of this time period in the hotel's history, the Park Superintendent, Ernest J. Salazar, continually pushed for new upgrades to make the hotel more profitable. These were in the hopes of countering the declining business.
The Glacier Falls Lodge
- 1997 - 2006
- By this time, the hotel, which had become family owned, was sold off to a chain company that ran national park hotels. The Hotel was renamed, downsized, and refurbished, keeping the lobby portion and turning it into a large but elegant vacation chateau in the middle of the cabins adjacent to the new Glacier Lake Hotel that the company built.
The New Glacier Lake Hotel (1998 - Present, shown here before the installation of its famous clock faces). The hotel features amenities such as a spa, a new hiking trail circling Glacier Lake, boat tours on the lake itself, and a restaurant boasting five star dinners. Also on the property are several vacation honeymoon cabins, and the old Glacier Falls Lodge building.
From 1897 to 2020, the Glacier Falls Lodge in some way or another has stood proud alongside the falls for which it is named, directly across a gravity-defying bridge that spans the valley. On the opposite end of the valley, cars trundle up to the ranger station entrance, on their way over Washington Pass to Seattle. In the winter, when snow covers the ground, the hotel and grounds become a magical destination for minifigures who come from across the world just to stay there. Truly a piece of Pacific Northwest history, the Glacier Falls Lodge's history is rich and deep, and will continue to be so for many years to come.
Thank you for attending this historical presentation, if you like the new Glacier Falls Lodge's design, be sure to check it out on Ideas and comment below!