YOSEMITE HERITAGE HOLIDAYS
AT THE AHWAHNEE
quarter of 2010 and the prospect of even lower numbers for 2011 due to a proposed partial (if not full) closure of the hotel
for remodeling conspired for its demise. The event had been approved up to the time these elements came into the equation.
WHAT WE ACCOMPLISHED
Yosemite Heritage Holidays sold out in 2008 and 2009. We proved that a well conceived event can fulfill
the National Park Service's requirements for Interpretive Programs and still be entertaining and turn a profit.
In this sense it was the most successful, site-appropriate event produced at The Ahwahnee in recent times.
It could not have been done without the dedication, talent, and hard work of many hands (some of whom are
listed below), the staff of The Ahwahnee, and especially Cherie Oliver of the Art Deco Society Of California.
WHAT IT WAS
National Park Service Historians ensure preservation of The Ahwahnee from the furniture to the slate roof.
Born of the Art Deco era, the hotel graciously asserts its culture into the Yosemite Experience– but something
is missing. Can The Ahwahnee’s interior be restored to full flower, if only temporarily, reviving the Art Deco
fashion, sound, and movement that designers and architects imagined for the hotel? That’s what Yosemite
Heritage Holidays attempts. The air sings with loving re-creations of period music, the dance floor feels the
reminiscent pulse of a waltz, elegant fashions absent for decades return to complement the décor, and vintage
jazz echoes down the hall. Then, after this brief immersion in a culture that gave us The Ahwahnee, it may be
possible to imagine more clearly what our own ephemeral culture will leave behind in Yosemite – in other words,
we may be the subject of Yosemite Heritage Holidays in 2090!
On behalf of the Yosemite community past and present, and our hundreds of guests you helped to joyfully
dip into the stream of Yosemite history, to all of you who made Yosemite Heritage Holidays a reality,
thanks, and happy trails to you! -- Tom Bopp
VIDEOS, PHOTOGRAPHS, PRESS
It started In August, 1998, when I wrote a proposal for the celebration of Camp Curry's 100th Anniversary. Seven
months later I met Cherie Oliver, whose expertise and band of experienced presenters helped make the event
a reality. Cherie then suggested a similar event for The Ahwahnee's 75th Anniversary in 2002. The rest is history,
recounted in this 71 page pdf with original documents from the genesis of Yosemite Heritage Holidays.
Yosemite Heritage Holidays Mission Statement - Tom Bopp
The mission of Yosemite Heritage Holidays is simple: engage with all our senses the many dimensions
that The Ahwahnee has to offer, indulge in great entertainment with real substance, share the
Yosemite Experience of our ancestors and during moments of repose, contemplate our own place
and value in the stream of Yosemite’s history. Past cultures still influence today’s Yosemite, and the
cultural nature of our interaction with the environment will affect Yosemite’s future.