New lodge under construction at Baumholder joins Army’s major base makeover
Stars and Stripes November 8, 2023
A $38 million inn is being built at the Army’s garrison in the German town of Baumholder, marking the latest in a series of major upgrades at a base once disparaged by soldiers as among the country’s most rundown.
Earlier this month, the Army broke ground on a replacement for the old Lagerhof Inn, which has housed transient troops and their families for decades.
Col. Reid Furman, commander of the Army’s Rheinland-Pfalz garrison, said in a statement Friday that the project amounts to a victory “for all those who have fought to maintain” the Baumholder installation, which was once on the Army’s chopping block.
“Baumholder is a special place. Its military roots go back to World War II, and those roots now represent the enduring partnership between the German and the U.S. forces here,” Furman said.
The new lodge will nearly double the capacity of the Lagerhof, with more than 75 modern rooms, including 50 family suites and 20 extended-stay rooms, the Army said.
The project will bring Baumholder into line with most other garrisons in Germany, where facilities such as base hotels already have been modernized.
Developed in conjunction with the German government, the inn is expected to host 24,000 guests annually, the Army said.
It is the latest improvement coming to Baumholder, which has gotten an influx of Army cash in recent years. In October, the garrison began a separate project that will bring 64 new residential units.
Well over $100 million has been pumped into various Baumholder projects during the past couple of years.
In some ways, the base is playing catch-up after years of neglect. In the early 2000s, the Army designated it for closure as part of a post-Cold War drawdown in Europe.
In 2008, the service reversed course, declaring Baumholder one of its enduring communities on the Continent. But while its future was in limbo, funding for facilities was hard to come by, and barracks and other facilities deteriorated.
Roger Vogler, a chief of engineering and construction for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the new inn is the latest sign of the Army’s commitment to making life in the area better for soldiers.
The overall renovation program will “help ensure Baumholder is seen as a premier assignment,” he said in the statement.