Rooms with a View Cabin Rental Program Partnership in Arizona Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Coconino National Forest, Coronado National Forest, Kaibab National Forest, Prescott National Forest, Tonto National Forest
The increasing demand for outdoor recreation opportunities on National Forest System lands, combined with surplus historic buildings, has inspired a unique Forest Service program of adaptive reuse that benefits recreation users and local rural economies in Arizona.The “Rooms with aView Cabin Rental Program,” founded in 1999, takes historic buildings that are no longer in service, performs preservation and adaptive restoration work on these buildings, and offers them to the public as overnight recreation rentals.There are currently 20 sites with 27 buildings/cabins in the program.This unique program is managed by the Arizona Cabin Rental Board, a team of representatives from all six Arizona National Forests.The Board provides advice to forests interested in entering new cabins into the program; it markets the project as a whole; and it ensures comparability in services, pricing, and quality.
Most importantly, the Board also distributes the collective rental proceeds back to the Forests for cabin operations and maintenance, special projects, and improvements.This redistribution across the program allows for sustainable operations and maintenance of historic buildings. In addition to operation and maintenance, the Board allocates funds toward bringing new cabins into the program. Over the last three years, the Arizona Cabin Rental Board has partnered with the nonprofit group HistoriCorps to perform critical preservation work at several buildings scheduled for program inclusion. HistoriCorps volunteers, Passport in Time volunteers, several Forest Service employees,Arizona Youth Corps, and local volunteers have saved some of the most significant Forest Service buildings in Arizona. In 2018, a four-week project commenced at Mormon Lake Ranger House in Coconino National Forest.Work performed included a new roof, siding repair/replacement, lead paint abatement, asbestos abatement, porch repair, elevation drainage, retaining wall construction, and window repair and reglazing. Forest Service employees collaborated with HistoriCorps participants, Friends of Northern Arizona Forests, and Mormon Lake Hotshots (firefighters) contributing thousands of hours to complete the project. Critical foundation repairs are still needed before this Ranger House can be included in the Rooms with aView Program; however, with pending future projects, the house could be available for public rental as early as 2022. “The Forest Service benefits, the local community benefits, future users benefit, and the wonderful volunteers benefit knowing their hard work matters to give new life to this old structure.” Jeremy Haines, former archaeologist on the Flagstaff Ranger District, Coconino National Forest
Inside a courtroom (Carol M. Highsmith Photography, Inc./GSA) Members of the Mormon Lake Hot Shots volunteered time to help fix the drainage surrounding Mormon Lake Ranger House. (Jeremy Haines)
64 | IN A SPIRIT OF STEWARDSHIP: A REPORT ON FEDERAL HISTORIC PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 2021
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