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Central Coast's Hearst Castle to reopen after pandemic, damage

Neptune Pool, Hearst Castle
Posted at 10:49 AM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 13:49:15-04

SAN SIMEON, Calif. (AP) — California’s famous Hearst Castle will reopen to the public in May after a two-year closure due to the pandemic and severe rainstorm damage that prompted a $13.7 million renovation.

A steep, curvy access road leads to the palatial home that media mogul William Randolph Hearst built on ranch land overlooking the Pacific.

The home designed by architect Julia Morgan was damaged in 2021 by atmospheric rivers, which are fueled by plumes of moisture pulled in from the Pacific. California State Parks says the castle includes a 115-room main house, as well as guesthouses, pools and cultivated gardens.

The castle sees about 850,000 visitors annually, meaning about 22,000 bus trips traverse the access road each year.