National Park Service Looking For Operator of Grand Teton National Park's Climbers' Ranch
Wanted: Operator for historic lodge nestled in the scenic grandeur of Wyoming's Teton Range. Must assume $70,000 maintenance backlog. Annual revenues pegged at $72,228.
The proposed contract is for 10 years and would begin January 1, 2013. The current concessionaire, The American Alpine Club, a Denver-based group formed in 1902 to promote climbing and conservation, is considered a Preferred Offeror. Thus, if the group submits a bid, it will have the right to match a better bid and be awarded the contract.
The ranch is a relatively small operation that can accommodate a maximum of 64 guests in a series of dormitory-style rustic cabins that each sleep from 4 to 8 individuals. The ranch also includes a cook shelter, and shared toilet and shower facilities. Guests are required to supply their own sleeping bag, pad, pillow, food, cooking gear, and towels.
The Park Service estimates an initial investment of approximately $10,000 for personal property, inventory, start-up expenses, and working capital. It has established a minimum franchise fee of 4.7 percent of gross receipts.
Although there is no requirement for a repair and maintenance reserve, the concessionaire is responsible for all maintenance. And the Park Service estimates a maintenance backlog of $70,000, a considerable sum considering total revenues in 2010 amounted to only $72,228. Guests paid $22 per person, per night during the 2011 season.
The ranch has an interesting history. Originally named Double Diamond Dude Ranch, the facility was built in the 1920s as a dude ranch for wealthy high school and college boys, mostly from the East. The original ranch was comprised of a log kitchen/dining room cabin, a log lounge cabin, a small commissary cabin, and a series of tent cabins.
Log cabins were added in the early 1940s in an effort to attract upscale tourists who were seeking a western experience. The current building housing the office, kitchen, and climbers’ library was constructed in 1945. Heirs of one of the original owners operated the facility as a dude ranch until 1964, when it was sold to the National Park Service. Of 15 historic buildings on the site, all but the dining hall and five cabins were destroyed by a 1985 fire.
For those of you looking for an adventure, the current concessionaire is seeking a ranch manager for the upcoming season. According to the organization’s advertisement, the pay is $3,000 per month from May 15 through September 30, and $1,500 for part-time off-site work during the month prior to opening. The manager is required to prepare the facility for opening and secure the ranch for closing.