Coming in 2020: New OZ-Designed Lodging to Complement Stunning Grand Canyon Setting

Grand Canyon National Park drew 6.4 million visitors in 2018, many of whom spent time at the Maswik South Lodging Complex on the park’s busy South Rim to grab something to eat, peruse the gift shop or spend a night or two amid a peaceful pine forest, a short walk from some of the world’s most stunning scenery.

Come the summer of 2020, visitors to the country’s second-busiest national park will find the same jaw-dropping views, plus a newly renovated and upgraded Maswik complex. A $30 million project designed and permitted by OZ Architecture is giving the 48-year-old facility much-needed renovations, including replacement of 90 Maswik South lodging rooms with 120 new lodging options — 90 standard rooms and 30 with efficiency kitchens.

“This is the first major lodging improvement to take place in decades at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and we’re underway during the Centennial year of Grand Canyon National Park, which makes the investment all the more momentous,” said Mia Bell, General Manager of Grand Canyon, South Rim. 

Reminiscent of the days of the great American road trip, the “come as you are” atmosphere of the New Maswik South is a home away from home for families and groups of all shapes and sizes. “Maswik South takes inspiration from the Mission 66 and the 100 years of the National Park Service,” explains OZ Principal in Charge Rebecca Stone. “The two-story buildings with open first-floor patios make reference to the Mission 66 Motor Lodge, but they meet modern 21st Century building technology. This family-oriented layout allows guests direct access to the outdoors and is attuned to nature.”

Adds architect Chris Vandall, leader of the OZ Architecture team on the project, elaborating on the setting for the OZ design: “The humbling backdrop of the vast landscape inspires camaraderie with those around you. Your neighbor is instantly your friend and the spirit of discovery is intoxicating.”

Housed in four structures near the main Maswik Lodge and a short walk to the canyon’s edge, the new two-story lodging buildings are designed to complement their surroundings — the Grand Canyon itself, and more immediately, the Ponderosa Pine forest in which the Maswik facilities are nestled.  The renovated facilities will be amenity-laden but intentionally understated to give their surroundings center stage, with a focus on enhancing the guest experience inside and out via additions such as private balconies, elevators, interior hallway entrances, exterior graded trails and outdoor gathering places to increase accessible access.  

Unlike the structures they are replacing, the new buildings are expected to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards. The OZ Architecture team specified a tight thermal envelope, sustainable building materials, high-efficiency lighting, mechanical and plumbing fixtures throughout, and use of reclaimed water systems.  Particular attention was also given to Dark Sky compliant lighting so the buildings don’t detract from the Grand Canyon stargazing experience.

OZ Architecture, NPS and Xanterra have worked diligently and collaboratively on a design that complements the character of a place — the Grand Canyon — that long has helped to shape our national cultural identity, while creating a park lodge that meets the expectations of today’s guests. As architect of record and designer on the project, OZ Architecture led the design team effort to secure National Park approvals and permits for New Maswik South, one of the largest current new-build projects on NPS land. Working closely with the Owner, OZ’s Vandall guided the design team through the National Park Service’s State Historical Preservation Office (SHIPO)process and their Development Advisory Board approval process.

The Maswik South Lodging project is headed by Xanterra Travel Collection, which provides hospitality concession services to the National Park Service and operates lodges, restaurants and other facilities in national parks and resorts throughout the United States. The lodge complex is expected to open in the Summer of 2020.  Read more in Hotel Online here.

Want to check out the views, the stars and the new Maswik South lodges for yourself? Xanterra will begin accepting reservations starting in Spring 2020. (If you’d like to observe the renovation, the main Maswik Lodge and Maswik North lodging are open during the Maswik South renovation.) Visit grandcanyonlodges.com or call 1-888-29-PARKS (888-297-2757) for info.