Canyon, TX – After years of detailed planning, a groundbreaking ceremony is set for 2 p.m. on Friday, April 1 at Palo Duro Canyon State Park for the new Mack Dick Group Pavilion recreation hall facility.

Made possible by the Amarillo Area Foundation Park Fund, established by Mr. Mack Dick—a prominent Amarillo-area businessman, the new stone-clad facility will be 5,200- square-feet of meeting and/or dining hall space, restrooms and a commercial kitchen, all designed specifically to accommodate park visitor demand for receptions, parties, weddings, family reunions, RV groups and other multipurpose uses. The Pavilion, which will incorporate local rock and native materials to resemble its rugged and scenic surroundings in the bottom of the canyon, is a balance of enclosed indoor space and generous outdoor porch space. The state-of-the-art group facility will have a seating capacity of 150 and be enhanced with multi-media technology.

“Thanks to private donors like Mack Dick, plus support from the Texas Legislature and state voters in recent years, visitors to Texas State Parks today have richer opportunities to enjoy some of Texas’ greatest treasures,” said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director. “What’s more, research shows such investments in state parks pay strong economic returns by drawing outside tourists to host communities. I have no doubt that this facility will only add to what is already a superb park experience at Palo Duro Canyon.”

Similar recreation halls have proven very popular over the years among park visitors in other Texas State Park settings, such as ones located at Bastrop, Caddo Lake, Lockhart and Huntsville State Parks among others. Many such facilities were built more than 70 years ago by the Civilian Conservation Corp, and retain a high occupancy rate, especially on weekends.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park was originally built by the CCC in 1930s, and is one of the state’s most visible natural landmark features, protecting a portion of the second-largest canyon in the U.S. Many of the park’s existing structures were built in the traditional rustic CCC style from sandstone and other materials endemic to this region of Northwest Texas. It was with this inspiration in mind that the new Mack Dick Group Pavilion was devised, with the original design by architect Paul Clayton, a native of Amarillo who now lives in Austin.

In addition, the new group facility is largely being funded with private dollars, making it a noteworthy example of government and private interest collaboration to fund large-scale projects, which otherwise might not be feasible.

“This thoughtfully designed facility will represent the appropriate blend of functionality and aesthetics in this magnificent natural setting,” said Brent Leisure, Director of Texas State Parks. “We are grateful to Mr. Dick for his generous gift to Texas. And, this project represents a model of private-public partnership that we hope to replicate throughout our state park system.”

The soon-to-be-built rec hall’s kitchen facilities will also be the result of a donation; the Park’s friends group, Partners in Palo Duro Canyon Foundation, will provide the refrigerator, convection oven and stove, and outdoor grill facilities. In all, the new Mack Dick Group Pavilion will undoubtedly be a welcome addition to the Panhandle’s famed 30,000-acre park, which receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

“Palo Duro Canyon stands apart as one of the premier parks in Texas; it attracts visitors from literally around the world,” said Leisure. “Thanks to the generosity of Mack Dick, we have an opportunity to provide the type of quality group facility one would expect to find at such an international attraction.”

For more information, contact the Amarillo Area Foundation at (806) 376-4521.

As promised I was going to send you the contact info for reservations.

The number is 512-389-8900

Currently the rate for rental is $300. This is based off of the maximum allowed that we can charge for this type of building, however I believe it should be more compared to our competition which do not have the view that we can provide.

I am asking for a security deposit of $300 as well. We will see if this is approved in Austin, but people can be told that and expect to pay it if it is approved.

When they call to make reservations they have to pay for the first days rental. The deposit and entrance fees will then have to be paid at the park. Entrance fees still apply. Current entrance fees are $5 for each person unless they qualify for a group rate which currently is $2, but may go up to $3 in the near future.

We are still trying to hash out the details on overnight use after 10PM.

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