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Kilmorey Lodge in Waterton Park opens for first full-season following devastating fire

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The rebuilt and reconstructed Kilmorey Lodge in Waterton Lakes National Park is welcoming guests back more than a decade after it was destroyed by a fire.

The landmark, originally built in 1926, caught fire in January 2009. Though all guests and staff were able to get out safely, fire crews weren't able to save the structure.

Now, 14 years later, the lodge is back in business.

"We’re open again and really excited to welcome guests," said Lockey Craig, president of Waymarker Hospitality.

Craig says rebuilding the lodge hasn't been without its challenges.

"(Parks Canada) wanted what they thought was the right building here, we wanted a building as well that made sense for the park, but was also economical for us."

Craig says the design phase of the Kilmorey Lodge's rebuild lasted several years with discussions between Waymarker Hospitality and Parks Canada.

"It took a long time through negotiations to come up with what you see here today," he said. "I think both parties are happy."

After the two agreed on a plan, construction started in the fall of 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues delayed the $9-million project by a year.

Earlier this month, Waymarker Hospitality held a grand opening ceremony, celebrating the building's history.

When it opened in 1926, the Kilmore Lodge served as a rooming house.

The building was destroyed by fire in 1933, but rebuilt two years later.

In 1940, the lodge was expanded before the devastating fire in 2009.

The Kilmorey Lodge in Waterton Lakes National Parks. Craig says Waymarker Hospitality tried to replicate pieces of the old lodge, with one significant change being made.

"The parking was on the lake side, and we moved the building to the lake side and the parking to the street side," he explained.

"We’ve had lots of really good comments about how it kind of has that feel of the old hotel, and I can say, it really does to me too."

With the lodge serving guests since fall 2022, this summer will mark the first full season of operation.

"The Kilmorey Lodge has been a pillar of this community for years and it was always a hotel the town was proud of, so we’re thrilled to have it back," said Shameer Suleman, president of the Waterton Lakes Chamber of Commerce.

The new lodge features a restaurant, pub, paintings created by local artists and custom woodwork throughout the facility.

Although the Kilmorey Lodge is open year-round, most businesses in the town site are preparing to open for the season on May 12.

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