DENVER—Xanterra Parks & Resorts has been awarded the contract to operate hotels, restaurants, gift stores and activities in Yellowstone National Park for the next 20 years. This is the largest concessions operation in a national park with more than 830 buildings, nine hotels with more than 2,000 rooms, more than 30 foodservice facilities, tours and activities.
“We are very pleased that the National Park Service has chosen to continue our relationship in Yellowstone, and we are looking forward to implementing numerous initiatives that will enhance the visitor experience,” said Andrew N. Todd, president and CEO of Xanterra. “We have managed concessions in Yellowstone for 34 years, and our business relationship with the park has always been coupled with a deep, very personal commitment to preserving the park for future generations.”
While the contract will go into effect December 1, 2013, the transition will be seamless because of the company’s long history in the park. Xanterra’s predecessor, TWA Services, began operating in Yellowstone in the fall of 1979, and Xanterra—then called Amfac Parks & Resorts—acquired the company in 1995.
“Our commitment to provide ‘legendary hospitality with a softer footprint’ is already reflected in many ways, such as a retail store devoted to promoting awareness of climate change and educating our customers about the environmental attributes of the products they purchase,” said Todd. “When the next generation looks back at Xanterra’s activities in the park over the next 20 years, I am certain they will conclude that we have made the park better in many ways. We are anxious to get started on the many improvements we are planning.”
Millions Set Aside for Improvements
As part of the contract, Xanterra has committed an estimated $134.5 million investment in improvements to facilities with approximately half of that money to be invested in redevelopment of lodging in the park’s Canyon Village. Additional projects include completion of Phase II of the renovation of the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, construction of new concession employee housing at Lake and Old Faithful Villages, rehabilitation of the Mammoth Haynes Photo Shop, renovations at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and renovation of the Fishing Bridge RV Park. These projects are scheduled to begin in 2014.
Beyond that, Xanterra will invest an additional amount in excess of $100 million toward other park improvements. For example, Xanterra will renovate its foodservice facilities at Canyon Lodge, Lake Lodge and Old Faithful Lodge in order to improve traffic flow and accommodate new food offerings. Through its historic preservation program, Xanterra will maintain and renovate the nine lodges it operates in addition to dining and retail structures and other facilities. Additionally, the company will purchase and operate new vehicles for operational use and for visitor services such as tours and fishing charters. Xanterra will also earmark funds for continual upgrades to its information technology capabilities.
Xanterra has plans to greatly expand upon its offerings of local, sustainable cuisine and continue its healthy foods initiative to benefit not only visitors but farmers, ranchers and other food suppliers in the region. Following up on its highly successful and often-emulated Lodging & Learning programs in collaboration with the Yellowstone Association as well as its wide range of guided tours, Xanterra will continue to develop interpretive programs to help visitors gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the park. And the company will continue to ensure that its historic vehicles such as Historic Yellow Buses and Bombardier Snowcoaches offer authentic park experiences.
“We are taking to heart the National Park Service’s Call to Action to reach new audiences and to make our offerings appeal to more people, especially young people who can most benefit from developing an appreciation for nature and the great outdoors,” said Todd. “We believe—now more than ever—our parks are more relevant and needed, and we look forward to doing our part in providing services and experiences that will create unforgettable memories for these visitors.”
Click here for more information.