The National Park Service has selected Xanterra Parks and Resorts, Inc. as the new concessioner for Glacier National Park. The new contract was announced Tuesday and includes lodging, retail, transportation, food and beverage and other services within the park.
Xanterra will replace Glacier Park Inc., which has held the concessions contract since 1981. The new 16-year contract is set to begin in January 2014.
“Our friends at Glacier Park, Inc. have successfully operated the concessions in the park for 32 years and we appreciate the service they provided and the working relationship we’ve established over the years,” Acting Superintendent Kym Hall said in a press release. “I and the staff at the park look forward to forging an equally strong and successful working relationship with Xanterra in the future.”
The 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.
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 competitive process for the concessions contract was initiated Dec. 11, 2012 with the release of a prospectus. All offers had to be submitted to the bureau by April 16, 2013. An evaluation panel of National Park Service and technical experts outside Glacier National Park performed a comprehensive analysis of the proposals and selected the best responsive proposal based on factors identified in the prospectus.
In March, the National Park Service awarded its concession contract for Yellowstone Park to Xanterra, which has held the contract since 2005.
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.
On Tuesday evening, Xanterra President Andrew Todd said the company’s experience at parks across the region will help it succeed in Glacier.
“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,” Todd said in a statement. “We look forward to commencing our operations at Glacier and implementing our award-winning sustainability programs and serving the many park visitors.”
The news came as a surprise to many in the area, including former Superintendent Mick Holm, who headed up Glacier from 2002 to 2008.
“To be quite honest, I was surprised,” he said late Tuesday. “Based on my interactions, the park has had a great relationship with Glacier Park Inc. They did a good job.”
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