Glacier National Park Concessions Contract Awarded to Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Saturday, August 17 2013 14:04   Other NPs
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Xanterra Parks & Resorts has been awarded the contract to operate concessions in northern Montana's Glacier National Park beginning in early January 2014, the National Park Service announced Aug. 13, 2013.

The 16-year contract covers the operations of five lodges with approximately 500 rooms and cabins; four restaurants with more than 500 seats, five retail outlets; tours of the park in 33 historic White Motor Company Red Buses, and ancillary services including a hikers shuttle, laundry and showers.

many_glacier_hotel_lobbynpsThe lodges are the historic Many Glacier Hotel and Lake McDonald Lodge plus the Apgar Village Inn, Rising Sun Motor Inn and Swiftcurrent Inn.

Glacier Park, Inc. has held the current park concessions contract since 1981.

"Our friends at Glacier Park, Inc. have successfully operated the concessions in the park for 32 years and we appreciate the services they provided and the working relationship we've established over the years." Acting Glacier National Park Superintendent Kym Hall said. "I and the staff at the park look forward to forging an equally strong and successful working relationship with Xanterra in the future."

Over this fall, Xanterra is expected to work with Glacier Park, Inc. during a transition period.

"Glacier National Park has long been one of the National Park Service's crown jewels, and all of us at Xanterra Parks & Resorts are privileged to be granted the opportunity to take the helm of the park's concession operations and expand our partnership with the National Park Service," said Andrew N. Todd, president and CEO of Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

"Our experience is perfectly suited to the job of preserving this national treasure. With decades of operating concessions in Glacier's neighboring regions - Yellowstone National Park to the south and Crater Lake National Park to the west - we have developed a deep appreciation for the breathtaking beauty of this part of our country."

The new contract includes a minimum franchise fee of 1 percent that will be returned to the government each year based on annual gross receipts. The contract also includes a repair and maintenance reserve of 2.35 percent and a Red Bus Rehabilitation Reserve equal to 2.5 percent, each respective of annual gross receipts. The annual gross receipts are expected to be approximately $18.5 million.

The contract includes numerous improvements to the park's historic lodges, the park service said.

lake_mcdonald_exteriorThe contract requires replacement of much of the lodging furnishings throughout the park, remodeling selected guest rooms in the Many Glacier Hotel and Lake McDonald Lodge, improved food and beverage services at Heidi's in Many Glacier and the Two Medicine Campstore, improved sustainable and healthy choice food options, the addition of two accessible tour buses to the Red Bus Fleet, and the provision of administrative and support facilities located outside of the park.

This is the latest in a series of high-profile acquisitions for the global travel company, which has added several other major operations to its portfolio in the last few years.

Earlier this year the company was awarded the contract to operate concessions in
Yellowstone National Park for another 20 years.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc. provides a variety of visitor services in several national and state parks across the country, including Crater Lake, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and Zion National Parks, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The 10th national park in the U.S.,
Glacier National Park was designated a national park in 1910. Like in many early parks, tourism was tied to a railroad. The Great Northern Railway recognized the need for visitor services in this pristine part of the country on the Canadian border, so the railway built several classic lodges such as the Many Glacier Hotel and Lake McDonald Lodge.

The park crosses the Continental Divide and is surrounded by two national forests plus the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, which has strong ties to the land.

The 1 million-acre park draws about 2 million visitors per year, who come to experience the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road; enjoy the breathtaking views of its many glaciers; watch its wildlife, including many endangered or threatened species; and enjoy active outdoor adventures like hiking and fishing.

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