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Concessionaires Push Point That National Park Service Lacks Business Savvy

Jul 25th - 18:44pm | Julie Doyle

The National Park Service is in the 'business' of protecting the natural, historic, and cultural aspects of all our national treasures in its charge. Limiting visitation or services, for any variety of reasons, across the park system, is essential for preserving these places.

Jul 25th - 18:32pm | rmackie

Kurt, or who has the inside political tract. I am beginning to be a bit of a broken record, but the book "YOUR YOSEMITE" written by a former superintendent of that Park who also has a very impressive resume both in non-profits, etc. will help EC greatly as it deals with many of the points he is making.

Jul 25th - 17:29pm | ecbuck

"especially when that phrase is followed by "could increase franchise fees to the NPS by 50 percent within three years."

Jul 25th - 17:25pm | SmokiesBackpacker

I'm reminded of the time that the cigarette company officals stood and lied before congress to say that tobacco wasn't deadly.

Jul 25th - 16:41pm | Anonymous

Sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. Three flush facilities are open in the winter as are eight vault toilets and many, many frost free hydrants. Maybe you should work to get your "facts" straight about SNP

Jul 25th - 13:23pm | Kurt Repanshek

EC, I'm curious to learn more about "dynamic pricing," but my guess is that it calls for higher prices, especially when that phrase is followed by "could increase franchise fees to the NPS by 50 percent within three years."50 percent is a fairly large jump in three years, don't you think?

Jul 25th - 10:27am | ecbuck

Kurt - couldn't "dynamic" also mean reducing prices? If their costs vary shouldn't they be able to vary their prices accordingly? But lets get to the root of it. Megaera expects the concessionaires to sell at a loss so the non "rich" can get their entitlement.

Jul 25th - 10:24am | Harry Butowsky

I find it distressing that considering the importance of the role of Concessions in the history of the NPS that we do not have a comprehensive administrative history on the subject. Concessions have played an important and vital role in the history of our national parks and an administrative history of the subject is long overdue. Harry Butowsky

Jul 25th - 10:05am | Kurt Repanshek

Perhaps not arbitrarily, but:...allowing dynamic pricing of services...

Jul 25th - 09:31am | ecbuck

So Chrys, where does it say they will arbitrarily raise prices?

Jul 25th - 08:24am | Chrys

I think Megaera may be referring to what will undoubtedly be a raise in prices which limits accessibility to those who can afford higher prices

Jul 24th - 21:30pm | wild places

I'm not ready to jump on the concessionaires bandwagon as they are lobbying for their own interests which I am sure differ at times from that of the NPS. I am not sure increasing visitation should be a goal as at some point it detracts from the experience and I think there is plenty of evidence that many of the parks are already overcrowded.

Jul 24th - 20:17pm | Chuck

Hmm..makes me wonder. Is this issue associated with no tap water supply and no accessible rest rooms during the winter months at SNP?

Jul 24th - 18:28pm | ecbuck

(May be a duplicate) Megaera - did you post to the wrong article? I don't see anything here that suggests the concessionaires don't want to provide services to everyone. In fact, I read just the opposite. They want to provide more services but the NPS won't let them.

Jul 24th - 18:13pm | Anonymous

Megaera- perhaps you posted on the wrong article. Where does this article say that the concessionaires don't want to provide services to everyone? If anything this says just the opposite, i.e. that they want to provide more services but the NPS won't let them.

Jul 24th - 16:32pm | Megaera

If you don't like the concept of working to provide services to everyone, not just the rich, then you're in the wrong business, concessioners.

Rangers Rescue Pair Reported Trapped In Old Mine Near Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Jul 25th - 10:18am | Skip Prange

I remember when we spent time during the winter season fencing off the vertical mine shafts so that visitors and ORV's would not fall in them by accident. Never saw a rattler in any of them but I did see a lot of Barn Owls nesting and roosting in them.

Effort Under Way To Review National Park System Wilderness Possibilities

Jul 24th - 09:54am | Gary Wilson

The smokies has never been designated as wilderness by congress, so it is technically not protected as such. This means, that many things could still happen in it without the approval of congress. Technically roads could still be built, or overlooks created.. It's not even a wilderness study area.

Jul 24th - 09:50am | tahoma

Perhaps this will help, Smokies:“The Wilderness Act minimum requirement exception

Jul 24th - 08:08am | SmokiesBackpacker

Some of you experts can perhaps clarify this but is it not true that when an area becomes designated wilderness there are federal laws that supersede agency rules such as prohibiting the use of mechanized vehicles, chain saws etc. The Smokies, for instance, is supposed to be managed as wilderness, that is part of their verbage, not mine.

Musings From John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Jul 23rd - 19:31pm |

Recommended Book on John C. Merriam, Paleontologist Founder, JODA Cover Image Preserving the Living Past John C. Merriam's Legacy in the State and National Parks Steve Mark (Author) World READ AN EXCERPT Read the Introduction Hardcover, 219 pages ISBN: 9780520241671 March 2005

Jul 23rd - 09:25am | Anonymous

Thanks, Rudy. A couple of people told me that was being considered, but they had not heard if it had passed or not.

Jul 22nd - 03:12am | Rudy Stefancik

You will be pleased to learn that the Oregon legislature just passed a law that allows rural counties such as Wheeler County in the Fossil beds area are now allowed to have 24 hour self service stations to allow gas purchases with a credit card when no attendant is on duty.

House Subcommittees Dissecting National Park Service, Searching For Solutions

Jul 23rd - 16:08pm | Rick Smith

Anon--Of course, concessioners are private businesses. The "government leeches" don't operate them; capitalists do. And most of them make money, and in some cases, lots of money, although not enough, I'm afraid, to take care of the national debt.

Jul 23rd - 09:39am | Ron Treat

Has anyone thought of selling these to private enterprises and taking it out of the governments hands. This alone could take care of our national debt. And get rid of all of the leaches on the government payroll. Kill two birds with one stone. Our government has proven they cannot run any kind of business. If this was run like it should be it would be profitable for everyone.

Jul 22nd - 22:09pm | Rick Smith

backpacker--Yep, I'm just another high-level manager who is hated by the people who work with me and disliked by park visitors. What planet are you from?

Jul 22nd - 21:47pm | Rick B.

Sorry Backpacker. If you were capable of composing a post without the hate filled vitriol you could have much better reception for your issues. Anyone who disagrees with you is automatically a mustache wearing high level executive co-conspirator of that most evil and devious Jarvis person.

Jul 22nd - 21:24pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Rick Smith. Spoken like a true NPS bureaucrat. When you public servants start serving the public instead of yourselves, then the public will have little need to look into the bureau. Rank and file NPS employees widely resent you cognoscenti and your erudite "We know better than you peons" attitudes. All scrutiny on you guys is well deserved.

Jul 22nd - 15:49pm | rmackie

Traveler, please excuse, I want to reinforce my concern regarding the cursory review of a new book, "YOUR YOSEMITE", by Robert O, Binnewies. I have read it twice now, it answers so many questions raised on this listserve that I think all participants would find the book very educational and rewarding. As regards Mr.

Jul 22nd - 15:42pm | Megaera

They've tabled the one thing that really needs to happen. Greater appropriations from Congress. So nothing worthwhile is going to come of this.

Jul 22nd - 14:32pm | tomp2

I object to Crandall's first proposal: to redirect 10% of the concession franchise fees away from parks facilities and programs, to advertising to support visitation & concession. If the hospitality association members need to advertise their lodging and services, I think that should come out of their own budgets.

Jul 22nd - 09:32am | Rick Smith

Give it up, backpacker. Your rant is getting tiresome.

Jul 22nd - 09:31am | Anonymous

Isn't using the words "Congressional committee " and "solutions" in the same sentence a perfect example of an oxymoron?

Jul 22nd - 07:36am | SmokiesBackpacker

The NPS may be reporting higher visitation but the oversight committee should be looking into that. With the notorious numbers fudging so rampant in Jarvis cabal, it is time that the visitation numbers be audited by an outside agency. Jarvis has been caught padding numbers here in the Smokies with visitation so other numbers elsewhere should be treated with great suspicion.

Reader Survey Day: How Far From The National Park Parking Lot Do You Venture?

Jul 23rd - 07:58am | NP_Day_Hiker

I've been to 20 U.S. National Parks and always try to get out on a few day hikes. I've done most of hiking in Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Zion, Arches, and Yosemite. In fact, I've written a book about my times hiking in the National Parks, if anyone's interested in checking it out, The Adventures of a Day Hiker: An Exploration of America's National Parks.

Jul 22nd - 16:58pm | Acadia on my mind

We've backpacked in Zion, driven off-road in Death Valley, hiked to Wheeler in Great Basin and done nearly all 150+ miles of hiking trails in Acadia (mostly for our Acadia hiking guides, but also for pure pleasure). We try to get as far away from parking lots and crowds as possible.

Jul 22nd - 16:24pm | Kirby Adams

Day hikes for me, usually. Three miles deep is good. I tend to hike extremely slowly, though. Six miles is an all day affair when you stop every seventeen feet to look at ferns or birds or lichens or centipedes.

Jul 22nd - 15:45pm | Megaera

My capacity's about 3 miles at altitude, 4 or 5 at sea level, and I always try to get out at least a mile or two.

Jul 22nd - 15:08pm | Sean

Depends on the park. Glacier, I've been twenty miles into the backcountry, while at parks such as Yellowstone and Mount Rainier my farthest ventures were about ten. I've been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon which is only about 7 miles from the trail head, however it's probably one of the most remote places one will ever visit.

Jul 22nd - 13:49pm | Anonymous

day hikes, usually 3 - 5 miles one way

Jul 22nd - 10:20am | Mike Koz

While not a real backcountry hiker I will venture a long way from the parking lot. Basically day hikes. Yellowstone NP I guess the furthest we went was about 5 miles. Grand Teton NP about 6 miles Smokey Mountain NP about 10 miles Grand Canyon NP about 6 miles Yosemite NP about 5 miles Badlands NP about 3 miles Denali NP about 1 mile

Photography In The National Parks: Your Armchair Guide to Glacier National Park – Part 1

Jul 23rd - 03:05am | Rebecca Latson ...

Randy, you are welcome!  Thank you so much for the kind words.

Jul 22nd - 10:44am | randy muir

Rebecca, I so appreciate your photos and, not only that, but you share the "where & hows" of them. Some photographers have their "secrecy" about where they took their shots to "keep down the competition," but you tell it right out. IF I ever get out to Glacier some day, I will try to keep your info in mind. I am only able to "travel by armchair" these days.

Bison 5, Humans 0 At Yellowstone National Park

Jul 22nd - 21:08pm | G. D. Henderson

Stupid is as stupid does. Just because others are doing something doesn't make it right.

Jul 22nd - 19:56pm | dave

Just can not fix stupid

Work Continues To Preserve Apostle Islands National Lakeshore's Lighthouses

Jul 22nd - 13:19pm | argalite

I painted the Outer Island Tower, and re-roofed the San Island Lighthouse in 1992. Great places.

Jul 22nd - 10:24am | Rick Smith

Congratulations to the park staff for preserving pieces of our heritage.

Jul 22nd - 08:50am | Drew Hanson

I so appreciate Traveler's balanced reporting of NPS areas across the country.

Update: Wildfire Shuts Down Half Of Glacier National Park's Going-To-The-Sun Road, Forces Evacuations

Jul 22nd - 00:02am | Becki

What a shame. . .

Public Meetings Set To Consider Changes To Cape Hatteras National Seashore's ORV Plan

Jul 21st - 23:27pm | Anonymous

Anonymous, you are missing the point completely. What's really important in America these days is the fear that profits of local businesses cannot thrive when resources that feed them are protected. Some of those liberal environmental wackos might argue that if the resources are no longer protected, there may some day be no reason for anyone to visit them.

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