Tenaya Lodge celebrates 25th anniversary

This June marks the 25th anniversary of Fish Camp’s AAA Four-Diamond Tenaya Lodge.

“I’m honored to be a part of this milestone,” General Manager Paul Ratchford said. “I have been at Tenaya for 12 years and have loved every minute of it. It’s great fun to look back on all the lodge has accomplished and given over the years, and just as much to look forward to what’s next for us.”

Tenaya Lodge was originally slated to be a 100-unit motel, rather than a full-service, four diamond resort. Lodge plans were updated to include 160 units after a land acquisition, then again to include 242 for the grand opening. Plans also called for a small, 125-seat cocktail lounge and an upscale eatery, which transitioned to The Parkside Deli, Sierra Restaurant, The Lobby Bar and Jackalope’s Bar & Grill.

When Tenaya opened its doors to guests in 1990, Yosemite National Park was seeing about three million annual visitors as opposed to the current 4.5 million. In 2001, Yosemite concessionaire Delaware North saw the opportunity to create a luxurious, yet rustic park lodging experience in addition to the world famous Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley – in this case, just outside the park – and purchased Tenaya.

Over the years, the company has upped Tenaya’s room count to 302 with the addition of cozy, private cottages. and increased meeting and event space by over 12,000 square-feet. Delaware North also built Tenaya’s popular upscale eatery, Embers, and the 10,000-square-foot Ascent Spa, complete with a fitness center and 12 treatment rooms.

Tenaya guests can also enjoy amenities ranging from archery to guided nature hikes, swim in one of five pools, and experience year-round special events.

Tenaya Lodge has a long tradition of supporting and giving back to the community, donating, on average, more than $100,000 a year to Mountain Area non-profits and education, including a number of service clubs, Yosemite High School, Mountain Area elementary schools, the Elegant Auction benefiting the Oakhurst Community Park, Mountain Heritage Days, Eastern Madera County SPCA, and the Coarsegold Historical Society.

The lodge has provided jobs to about 15,000 people over the past 25 years, most from the surrounding communities.

Much of the efforts Delaware North have put into action are backed by the company’s GreenPath ethos, which calls for environmental stewardship through conservation.

Today, Tenaya boasts a Double Silver LEED certification, Keep America Beautiful, and California Waste Reduction accolades and membership with the Green Hotels Association thanks to innovations including an on-site water recycling plant, and human-powered gym equipment.

Details: (559) 683-6555,

$5 million remodel

The lodge recently completed the first phase of a $5 million remodel to refresh 240 of the main lodge’s rooms and suites. The first phase involved 119 rooms and three floors of corridors, now featured as ‘premium’ rooms. The update, which features a rustic contemporary flair, includes new bathrooms with granite counter tops, and barn-inspired doors, luxury bedding, new lamps, new sofa sleepers in suites and extended queen rooms, plantation-style window shutters, and plush carpets in suites.

The corridors have new wallpaper, hardwood flooring and wood paneling. The project will be completed in spring 2016.

- Delaware North