I got back a while ago from Paradise Inn, a beehive of activity as the May 16 reopening of the inn fast approaches.
Contractors and subcontractors were racing to finish the final work of the two-season renovation. In the meantime, crews from Guest Services Inc. and Olympic Moving were busy bringing in room furnishings and setting up the tables and chairs in the dining room. Finally, a group from Mount Rainier National Park were checking out the lobby to see where they could hang art work.
Some of the changes are remarkable. The Douglas fir woodwork and floor in the gift shop glowed. The expanded cafe will quickly become a popular nightspot for park visitors.
But the historic and rustic feel of the inn is intact.
While there, I interviewed Melinda Simpson, operations manager for Guest Services. She was literally bouncing with excitement as we talked about the reopening of the inn.
“It’s like coming home,” she said.