March 18, 2015 was a picture-perfect day for the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Evergreen’s upcoming sister property, Rush Creek Lodge, a new full-service resort opening spring 2016 at Yosemite’s Highway 120 West entrance. The mood was charged with excitement and curiosity among the crowd of approximately 80 guests, some visiting from as far away as San Francisco and Sacramento. Attendees included local community members, government officials, designers, engineers, builders, and representatives from the National Forest Service, National Park Service, employment agencies, and a variety of financial institutions.
Guests at this milestone event were treated to an impressive lunch provided by Chef Tommy Noel and team from the Evergreen Lodge. Visually appealing and equally delicious, options included Maple Glazed Duck Crostini, Walnut Pate Tea Sandwiches, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Smoked Salmon Tarts, and Caprese Skewers, among others. In true Evergreen Lodge style the food was accompanied by a refreshing signature ‘mocktail’ from the Evergreen’s colorful Tavern Manager, Douglas Salle.
Owners Lee Zimmerman and Brian Anderluh, also owners of the Evergreen Lodge, presented a comprehensive overview of the plans for Rush Creek Lodge and the complexities of what it takes behind the scenes to bring a project of this scale to fruition.
The contemporary mountain resort is the first resort to open in the park’s vicinity in more than twenty-five years, offering Yosemite explorers a new lodging option with 143 rooms, as well as amenities for travelers, such as a dining destination to enjoy California lodge cuisine, a general store for provisions on the way to the park, and a full service guided recreation program and ‘recreation concierge’ service.
Rush Creek Lodge features spectacular sunset views, a forested hillside setting and a breathtaking expanse of nature. Inspired by the mountain backdrop, Rush Creek Lodge will infuse modern amenities with an authentic, timeless feel for a consummate national park lodge experience that is both relaxed and sophisticated.
Rush Creek Lodge continues the social and environmental missions set forth by its sister property, the Evergreen Lodge. The resort is a Certified B corporation, meeting social sustainability and environmental performance standards, and is committed to accountability and transparency regarding this distinguished benchmark. The property’s dedication to social enterprise, using business as a force for good, is further enhanced by a fully self-funded on-site youth employment program and a host of environmental initiatives. For example, Rush Creek’s water re-use program will be one of the most comprehensive commercial greywater systems in California, charging stations will be available for electric vehicles and solar panels will supply a portion of the property’s power needs.
Room rates will vary by season, ranging from $375-475 in peak season, and from $200-325 in off peak. There will be various grand opening promotional rates as well. Guests are invited to make reservations starting summer 2015.
Those who attended the groundbreaking ceremony also enjoyed hearing some touching comments from Tuolumne County District 4 Supervisor John Gray regarding his family’s historic ties to the property. Cort Gross from Self Help Credit Union shared some insight into the financial aspects of the project.
Yosemite National Park Public Information Officer Scott Gediman also shared inspiring thoughts with regard to the upcoming 125th anniversary of Yosemite National Park, the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, and the importance of continued good works with the Yosemite Gateway Partners. Following speeches and lunch, attendees were entertained with property tours and landmark ‘before’ photo opp’s, accompanied by mouthwatering desserts.
A preliminary web site is available for more details and photos at www.RushCreekLodge.com.