Flamingo in Everglades National Park getting new cottages

After Flamingo Lodge was destroyed in hurricanes in 2005, Everglades National Park was left with no guest accommodations. That is changing.

The National Park Service said Friday it’s selected Everglades Guest Services to provide “visitor services” in the park’s Flamingo district. The contract requires construction of 24 cottages and 20 eco-tents by December 2019 but authorizes a total of 40 cottages and 40 eco-tents.

Apart from campsites, this will be the first expanded overnight accommodations in the park since 2005, when the lodge was removed due to severe damage from hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.

Guest Services will manage all visitor services in Long Pine Key and Flamingo, including campgrounds, boat tours of Florida Bay and Whitewater Bay, a new restaurant near the cottages, and retail. The contract is for 20 years.

Flamingo is accessed by water through Florida Bay or a 45-minute scenic drive through the park. Visitors will be able to walk out their cottage door and see crocodiles, alligators, manatees, sawfish, sea turtles, dolphin, tarpon and more. Flamingo is also a world-class birding and fishing paradise..

Guest Services was selected under the provisions of the 1998 Concessions Management Improvement Act. For more information about Everglades National Park, visit www.nps.gov/ever or call (305) 242-7700.