A shift in concessions management is coming at Bryce Canyon National Park, where the National Park Service has granted to Forever Resorts a 10-year contract for lodging, dining, and retail operations long held by Xanterra Parks & Resorts.
The changeover won't take place until January 1, 2010, but it marks an expansion in the national park properties in Forever Resorts' portfolio and a loss for Xanterra.
"Forever Resorts provided the most comprehensive proposal to provide visitors the services they require at Bryce Canyon National Park," Intermountain Regional Director Mike Snyder said Wednesday in awarding the contract. "Their continued commitment to the National Park Service and its mission through strong environmental, interpretive, education, and resource management programs in other national parks they currently serve helped solidify this selection."
Among the parks Forever Resorts already works in or adjacent to are Mammoth Cave National Park (Mammoth Cave Hotel), Grand Teton National Park (Signal Mountain Lodge), Lake Mead National Recreation Area (Lake Mead RV Village), Big Bend National Park (Chisos Mountains Lodge), Badlands National Park (Cedar Pass Lodge), the Blue Ridge Parkway (Bluffs Lodge and Rocky Knob Cabins), Grand Canyon National Park (Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim), Isle Royale National Park (Rock Harbor Lodge), Rocky Mountain National Park (Rocky Mountain Park Inn), Olympic National Park (Lake Crescent Lodge), Amistad National Recreation Area (Lake Amistad Resort and Marina), and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Antelope Point Marina).
Xanterra has operations in Death Valley National Park (Furnace Creek Inn, Furnace Creek Ranch, Stovepipe Wells Village), Yellowstone National Park (all park hotels, lodges, and dining rooms), Grand Canyon National Park (all South Rim lodges, restaurants, Phantom Ranch), Crater Lake National Park (Crater Lake lodges), Zion National Park (Zion Lodge), Petrified Forest National Park (gift shops and restaurant), Rocky Mountain National Park (Trail Ridge Store and Cafe), and Mount Rushmore National Memorial (gift shop and cafeteria).
In 2007, gross receipts for the concession operations at Bryce Canyon exceeded $7.5 million, according to the Park Service. In 2008 the park counted just more than 1 million visitors; its best year for visitation was 1996, when 1.3 million visitors came to admire the park's colorful hoodoos.
"Forever Resorts has an excellent reputation working with the National Park Service," said Bryce Canyon Superintendent Eddie Lopez. "We look forward to working with Forever Resorts staff at Bryce Canyon to provide the best possible experiences for our visitors. Additionally, we would like to express our appreciation to the staff of Xanterra Parks & Resorts for their years of outstanding service to Bryce Canyon National Park."