Wind Cave National Park may be expanding soon

HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (KEVN) - Wind Cave National Park is home to one of the largest and most complex caves in the world people can't get into.

Wind Cave National park may be expanding its outdoors.

There's a chance the elevators may not be working this summer to get down into the caves.

Tom Farrell is a spokesperson for Wind Cave National Park.

"We have brought in some consultants to help us chart a path forward and they're going to be reporting back to the park in the next couple weeks and basically it's going to come down to can we put new parts on old equipment," said Farrell. "If we can, we'll probably be up and running this summer. If we can't, we'll have to do a major overhaul and we could be down for over a year."

This does affect seasonal hiring at the park.

"We're working two different plans. One where we have elevators and need a larger staff to take people through the cave," said Farrell. "Then we are also working on a smaller staff if we don't have elevators to just explore the surface."

And there just may be more surface to explore. The 33,0000-acre park is hoping to open up some new land this summer.

"And we're still in the planning process to try and get that land open. It's about a little over 5,500 acres and that land has some tremendous views, some great hiking opportunities, some excellent educational resources in terms of a historical homestead dating back to 1918 and a buffalo jump dating back about four thousand years," said Farrell.

The park will have a better idea about the elevators mid-March.