Vail Resorts, which built its reputation on skiing, is expanding its reach into national park concessions with the acquisition of the concession at Flagg Ranch in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway.
Flagg Ranch, located between Yellowstone and Grand national parks, long has attracted summer crowds to its cabins, campground, and RV park, and in winter has served as a jumping off point for snowmobile and snowcoach tours.
Vail Resorts since 1999 has run the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton under the auspices of the Grand Teton Lodge Co., making this acquisition particularly logical for the company.
Under a 15-year concession contract with the National Park Service, the resort will be operated by Flagg Ranch Co., an affiliate of Grand Teton Lodge Co. Under the new ownership, Flagg Ranch will continue to provide lodging, food and beverage, campground, retail, service station and other related visitor services for the resort.
"We are very pleased to partner with the National Park Service for management of Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch," John Rutter, vice president, Flagg Ranch Co., said in a release. "The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway is a naturally stunning, four-season destination for the outdoor enthusiast. We look forward to delivering an Experience of a Lifetime to our guests."
Under Vail's management, the operation at Flagg Ranch will be known as Headwaters Lodge
& Cabins. It will offer 92 standard, deluxe and premium cabins; 97 RV sites, 35 tent sites, one restaurant, a gift shop, and a service station.
Under the new contract, extensive refurbishments and upgrades are planned for the resort, including: cabin renovations, the addition of camper cabins, and the gas station pumps will be replaced. Refurbishments will take place this winter and next spring, and are planned to be completed for the 2012 summer season.
This winter Headwaters Lodge & Cabins is offering snowmobiling and limited service station offerings through March 15, 2012. The resort will reopen for the summer season on June 1, 2012, with lodging, dining, retail, camping and activities including horseback riding, rafting and guided fishing trips on the Snake River.
Logan Steffens has been appointed general manager for Headwaters Lodge & Cabins. He moves to the resort after four years in leadership positions at Grand Teton Lodge Co., where he most recently led the rooms division at Jackson Lake Lodge