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Yosemite National Park Concession Prospectus Includes Significant Lodging Changes

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Accommodations in Curry Village will change with the next concessions contract/David and Kay Scott

The recently issued prospectus for operation of the majority of Yosemite National Park'™s concession facilities includes several significant changes related to the park'™s lodging. Lodging, a major revenue generator for the winning bidder (and the National Park Service), is expected to generate from $52-$57 million in 2016, the year the new lease kicks in. This is approximately twice the amount the concessionaire is expected to generate in food and beverage sales during the same year. Retail sales generate approximately the same revenue as food and beverage. The new contract will be for 15 years with a beginning date of March 1, 2016.

The most significant lodging change is to occur at Curry Village, where the Park Service is planning to replace 52 canvas tents with cabins that include bathrooms. This will reduce the number of tent cabins at Curry to 351 and increase the number of cabins with bathrooms to 98. Curry also has 14 cabins without bathrooms and 18 motel-type rooms.

The prospectus also calls for removing 34 tent cabins (these are duplex units, meaning 17 structures would be removed) at Housekeeping Camp, leaving 232 of these units. In the High Sierra Camps, half the 22 tents at Merced Lake and four beds at Glen Aulin are to be removed.

The prospectus includes an especially stiff franchise fee of 8.6 percent of the concessionaire'™s annual gross revenues. Assuming the new cabins at Curry Village are completed on schedule before the end of the contract'™s seventh year, the franchise fee will increase by an additional six-tenths of 1 percent, resulting in a fee of over 9 percent. This compares with NPS fees of 4 percent at Mesa Verde and Sequoia/Kings Canyon national parks, 6 percent at Mount Rainier National Park, and 1 percent at Glacier Bay National Park.

In addition to a 9.2 percent franchise fee, the concessionaire is to pay an annual 2 percent repair-and-maintenance fee. Adding the California sales tax of 7.5 percent, a Mariposa County sales tax of .5 percent, a Mariposa County Transient Occupancy Tax of 10 percent, and a Mariposa County Tourism Business Improvement District Assessment of 1 percent, results in a guest at Yosemite Lodge paying $240 for a room (the price listed on the DNC site for an October stay), $27 of which represents NPS fees, plus another $45 in various sales taxes. Thus, a family staying in Yosemite Lodge will be paying over $70 a night in fees and taxes. An Ahwahnee stay would entail well over $100 per night in fees and taxes.

While the park'™s main concession facilities are in Yosemite Valley, the prospectus also covers concession operations at Badger Pass, Crane Flat, Glacier Point, Tuolumne Meadows, Wawona, White Wolf, and the High Sierra Camps. According to the NPS prospectus, each location 'œ'¦. presents unique opportunities and challenges'¦.'


So much for ordinary working folks to be able to afford to stay anywhere in Yosemite.  Not that we haven't been priced out long since.

And they ought to just spend the time and money cleaning up what they've got.  God knows they haven't been doing that for  years.

I agree megaera--- it's got so expensive to stay in the parks these days--and they are trying to get the American public interested in preserving the parks?? How can people appreciate them if they can't afford to stay in them??

I agree megaera--- it's got so expensive to stay in the parks these days--and they are trying to get the American public interested in preserving the parks?? How can people appreciate them if they can't afford to stay in them??

I'm sorry, why do tens of millions of dollars go to a private corporation every single year as they are granted a monopoly on the basic services inside our flagship national park?

"Thus, a family staying in Yosemite Lodge will be paying over $70 a night in fees and taxes."

Right.... That's $70 to "us" and $170 to the Delaware North Corporation.

So, ask yourself: Why is it so expensive to stay in the park?

I'm staying in Yosemite next month for $20 a night.  I expect every penny will be well worth it. 

The Yosemite Campers Coalition ( we do not accept contributions nor donations) has been active  for 35 years in trying to preserve affordable family friendly auto based drive-in camping in Yosemite Valley. We have an online petition plus 500 hand gathered petitions to put back the flood damaged campgrounds from 1997, delivered to the YNPS and they have ignored us,  after receiving 17 million tax dollars from Congress to repair the flood damaged campsites . We have taken our mission to congress on two occassions on our own time and our own dime. The YNPS is as "crooked as a dogs hind let." Whatever they spend our money on is not for the folks. We have had small wins and one big win.......the decade old lawsuit. Had the Merced River Plan not been overturned in its original form, more of existing campsites and even campgrounds would have been eliminated. There is a mission here by big $$$$ powers to bring in the foreigners on big tour busses and charge the big rates. We have kept track of the DNC rate sheet for a decade and watched the rates across the board soar.


The mission is "Pay To Play."

Please contact District 4 U.S. Congressman Tom McClintock who represents Yosemite for the people and express your concerns about the cost of visitation and by all means, sign the epetition. He is our last hope.


Not all of us can camp, ecbuck.  And $20 for a *campsite* is ridiculous, anyway.

What I wish is for a system of hostels in our parks, the way they do in Canada and the UK (those are the ones I have personal experience with) and other countries. 

Not all of us can camp

Oh Megaera, I am so sorry.  What terrible infliction do you have that you can't camp?  I have never met anyone like that before.

And $20 for a *campsite* is ridiculous

Really?  It cost me more than that for a parking spot in many places.  A NP front country campsite you get access, bear box, fire ring, picnic table, ranger programs,  water, security, toilets and the great outdoors and $20 is "ridiculous"?

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