I recently commented on the 75th Anniversary of RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, and I am currently working on a feature story about the liner. So this is a good excuse to pack my bag and travel across the big pond to pay a visit at her retirement home in Long Beach, California. Queen Mary was spared the final voyage to Alang, India, or some other fate that eventually would have ended on the scrap yard.
One cannot deny however the fact that she is an elderly Queen in need of serious attention: At her age, repairs and maintenance work are inevitable.
In September 2009 it was announced that Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts have taken over the management of Queen Mary 2. I have to admit I am rather pleased about this needed change! DNC is running facilities at some of the most prestigious locations in the States. I particularly like their lodges in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.
DNC has announced that over the next five years, they plan to continue restoring the ocean liner. According to reports from locals DNC are already is cleaning ship! New carpets for all public rooms are in storage waiting to be installed. Cabins are going to get also new carpets and drapes. They are installing a first class logo shop in the space where previously the she shop was. Originally, during service, this space was the Radio Telephone Room when the ship was at sea.
Many improvements were made by the former management, Hostmark Hospitality, this past year such as new paint for the funnels, the waterline and boot topping were painted, the teak on the prom deck was refinished, new galley equipment such as stoves, fridges, etc, installation of new air conditioning in many areas, and a new I. T. system, new beds and flat screen TVs in all cabins. A new and updated fire alarm system is currently being installed for generations to come.
DNC has promised to continue with the improvements and do even more: They will focus on the ships wonderful history and are intent on making it more like an ocean voyage. I hope I will be able to talk to members of the Queen Mary management to find out a little more about those plans, how they envision securing the future of this legendary ocean liner and how they want to preserve this outstanding testament to maritime achievements.
Delaware North Companies was founded almost 100 years ago and comprises of several operating divisions in the lodging, sporting, airport, gaming and entertainment industries. Delaware North Companies Parks & Resort which is now managing the Queen Mary was founded in 1992, when they won the largest contract in the U.S. National Park Service for Yosemite National Park. The company now operates at other venues including Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls State Park, Kennedy Space Center Vision Complex, Sequoia National Park, to mention just a few. The company prides itself on its sustainability program, GreenPath©. To find out more about DNC, click here.