Today the HI-Point Reyes hostel celebrates the opening of a newly constructed, environmentally sensitive building that travelers will love. And it shows the power of bringing together special government and nonprofit partners.
It started 40 years ago when the HI-Golden Gate Council worked with the National Park Service to establish the hostel at Point Reyes National Seashore. It’s a beautiful park about 30 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 1. At the time, it was the council’s first hostel, and an early national example of a joint project between a government agency and HI-USA. Today, more than half of HI-USA’s nonprofit hostel network involves a government collaboration of one form or another. And at Point Reyes, the hostel has flourished and so has the National Park Service partnership.
The original hostel building serves about 8,000 overnights annually, with guests each year from dozens of countries. The addition provides precious new capacity, four rooms with five beds each, meaning more people will have the chance to experience the park, and will get to know each other in the friendly, shared atmosphere that only a hostel can deliver.
The new building is a special one. It was constructed to “green” building standards, and will soon be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified hostel building in the United States. This means photovoltaic solar panels, a highly reflective roof, certified lumber and plywood for construction, recycled insulation, countertops and flooring, and drought resistant plants in the surrounding landscape.
The staff is special, too. Hanna Morris has managed the hostel for 10 years, and worked closely with NPS to help make sure the project happened smoothly. She and her colleagues deliver a hostel stay experience that is consistently rated by guests as among the best in the entire HI-USA hostel network.
And let’s not forget about the National Park Service and the California State Coastal Conservancy. NPS managed design and construction of the project, with both jointly furnishing funding.
Here’s what Cicely Muldoon, the park’s superintendent, says:
“We are very proud of this project. With our partners at Hostelling International USA, we are delighted to offer a new, affordable family-friendly, environmentally sustainable facility at the seashore.”
And Danielle Brumfitt, executive director of the HI-Golden Gate Council:
“With this addition we continue our commitment to world understanding and conservation through travel, and are proud of our partnership with Point Reyes National Seashore in doing so.”
Congratulations to Hanna Morris and her staff, the HI-Golden Gate Council, the California State Coastal Conservancy, and of course, the National Park Service for a terrific addition to our nationwide hostel family!