I apologize for the lack of a post yesterday. My bat signal was not strong enough to break through the layer of clouds that hung out on top the whole day. It was a rainy, dreary, cold day on the mountain. The high was 54º with a low of 37º. We received 1.7 inches of rain for the day. It is a good thing the rain has moved out or we might see snow soon. The temperature is dropping. It is currently 33º and getting colder. I think the fall equinox brought old man winter with it. We did get a a small break in the rain around dinner time. I managed to get a couple of good pics before the clouds swallowed us again.
I would like to take a minute to address the reservation questions. As to the reservations that certain guests have had for over a decade, back in the day people were able to have "priority reservations". Basically, this was a standing reservation which gave them the same date year after year as long as they continued to pay for it. In 1998 that system changed. The Park Service asked the concession to stop any new "priority reservations" and to phase the current ones out by 2018. The guests who have a "priority reservation" will have that certain date until the new contract comes out in 2018. There are several guidelines in place that they must adhere to in order to keep their date year after year. I will say that these "priority reservations" are fewer and farther between. They make up a small percentage of our available dates.
As to making your reservations for 2014. On October 1st the reservations will go on sale. You have a couple of options. The first one is to get on the phone and keep pushing redial. You will want to call our reservation office at 865-429-5704. When you get through, make sure you have a list of possible dates. You do not want to get through to discover the only date you want is taken. The second option is to fill out a reservation request form on our website. Go to www.lecontelodge.com. As we are answering the phones, we have a team of individuals going through the forms as well. It is a lottery system. The forms are randomly pulled and fulfilled. Make sure you put down several dates on the form as well.
Reservations are not as hard to get as people think. Now, with that being said, if you only want a weekend in July, you are going to have a difficult time getting that. The summer dates go fast due to families taking their vacations during this time. If you are good with the spring or fall time frame, you will have a better chance. If you are good with a week day, you will increase your chances. I hope this answers some of your questions. Good luck and I hope to see you all on the mountain next season.
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