Grand Re-Opening of Historic Visitor Center Brings Celebrities to Park
November 3rd and 4th will be the days to commemorate a number of events in
Death Valley National Park. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on
Sunday, November 4th at 1pm in the courtyard of the Furnace Creek Visitor
Center. The historic “Mission 66” style of architecture that dominated
National Park Service facilities in the 1950s and 60s, including the
Visitor Center and Museum, will show a refreshed interior with new
interpretive exhibits. The building will be LEED certified with energy
saving components built into the new design.
The two days will also celebrate dignitaries from several organizations.
Perhaps the biggest stars will be the infamous US Borax Twenty Mule Team –
used in the early 1900s to transport the mineral borax from what is now
park land to market. Mineral giant Rio Tinto’s President and CEO will
attend the event, and singer/songwriter and former Death Valley Ranger Stan
Jones will be remembered with songs played by his nephew, Keeter Stuart.
The weekend will feature demonstrations by the Twenty Mule Team each day, a
session with former park Superintendents, special ranger tours and
programs, as well as an evening program on Saturday in the refurbished
auditorium. New exhibits about the park include a 3-D map accompanied by a
video screen describing various locations for park visitors. Musicians Jean
Pickard and Don Truby of “South Coast” will play in the Visitor Center
courtyard both days.
Entrance fees to the park will be waived for the weekend, and all the
events are open and no charge to the public. Lodging is available at park
campgrounds, Stovepipe Wells Village, or the Furnace Creek Resort.
For more information, see www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit or call Cheryl
Chipman at 760-786-3207.