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Xanterra Parks & Resorts Lands Contract To Operate Glacier National Park Concessions


Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which already operates concessions at Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Zion, Death Valley, Crater Lake, Petrified Forest and Rocky Mountain national parks, soon will add Glacier National Park to its portfolio.

The company, which also runs concessions at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and operates the Grand Canyon Railway and which last year acquired Vermont Bicycle and Walking Vacations, will take over the Glacier lodging and dining operations in 2014 under terms of a 16-year-contract.

The concessions contract also includes retail, transportation and other visitor services within the park. This fall Xanterra is expected to work with Glacier Park, Inc. during a transition period. Glacier Park, Inc. has held the current park concessions contract since 1981.

Acting Glacier Superintendent Kym Hall said, “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.”

“I and the staff at the park look forward to forging an equally strong and successful working relationship with Xanterra in the future."

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 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 competitive process for the concessions contract was initiated December 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 proposal based on factors identified in the prospectus, park officials said in a release.

For more information about the prospectus and concessions contracts in the National Park Service visit


I've stayed in most of the lodges within Glacier National Park. My rooms were all basic and clean. The food was - well - nothing to write home about, but I never had much to complain about either. I've stayed at the Xanterra-operated Bright Angel Lodge in Grand Canyon and never had any complaints about that, either. Again, I had a clean, basic room, the food was so-so, and everything else - to my "outsider's" eyes - appeared to be well-run. It will be interesting to see/read about the changes that occur with this new transition.

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