November 1 marked the first day for Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts as concessionaire for hospitality services at Kings Canyon National Park.
The concession was previously operated by Asilomar Management Company. DNC has been the prime concessionaire at neighboring Sequoia National Park since the 1997.
The Kings Canyon operation includes retail, food service, rustic cabins, and John Muir Lodge at Grant Grove, plus lodging and limited food service at Cedar Grove. John Muir Lodge is the park’s newest facility, opening in 1999 with 36 rooms.
The new contract requires major expenditures on the part of the concessionaire, including demolition and replacement of the Grant Grove restaurant and check-in area. A temporary food service operation will be required until the new restaurant is completed. The current gift shop is to be remodeled.
Delaware North was required to pay the previous concessionaire slightly over $1.1 million for its ownership interest in John Muir Lodge. Overall, NPS had estimated an initial investment of approximately $3 million on the part of a new concessionaire.
With an existing concession operation in neighboring Sequoia, Delaware North had to be considered a strong contender for the Kings Canyon concession. The company is also the main concessionaire at Yosemite National Park and at Kalaloch Lodge in Olympic National Park.
In addition, this year it was awarded the concession business in Shenandoah National Park and at Peaks of Otter Lodge on the neighboring Blue Ridge Parkway. Delaware North also has a concession operation in Yellowstone National Park where the main concessionaire is Xanterra Parks & Resorts.