Folks in Medora have been enjoying quite the sight this week: an enormous crane swinging pieces of our brand-new high-capacity elevator into place at the Burning Hills Amphitheatre!
These photos show the progress being made on a foggy March 2nd, 2022. It’s thrilling to get a better sense of how this amazing new structure will fit into the landscape at the home of the Medora Musical.
This high-capacity elevator is a major piece of our Access Medora initiative: an ongoing effort to ensure the Medora experience is positive for guests with mobility and sensory challenges.
“It’s been fun to see this elevator take shape,” says Kinley Slauter, the Properties & Attractions Director for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. “It will be much more fun to see it in use this summer!”
Instead of being shuttled up and down our winding walking path — a process that could take up to an hour on busy nights — guests in need of extra assistance will have a fast, safe, efficient new option.
“The whole visit to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre is an experience,” says Maddie Thompson, Theaters Manager for TRMF, “from the moment you reach the top of the hill to your trip back into town. This elevator will make that experience better all around. We’re excited!”
Fans of the Medora Musical, like Valerie Addicott and her daughter, are excited too. “I have a little girl in a wheelchair, and she loves the Medora Musical, but we’ve only seen it once due to it being difficult to get her to and from the amphitheatre,” she says. “This will be a Godsend to so many people and their friends and family!”
“The addition of the elevator will also give people an amazing new view of the Badlands,” Slauter says, describing the view from the bridge to the elevator. Take a look at this artist’s rendering of that view:
We’re grateful to the Engelstad Foundation for providing us with a $1 million grant to get this project off the ground. We also owe a big “thank you” to the State of North Dakota, which awarded us a $1 million Tourism Transportation Grant during the 2021 Legislative Session in support of Access Medora.
We can’t wait for summer to get here!