Glacier Park awards new concessions contract to Xanterra

2013-08-14T10:30:00Z 2014-10-03T14:27:14Z Glacier Park awards new concessions contract to Xanterra missoulian.com

After more than 30 years with the same company, beginning in 2014 the hotels, lodges, restaurants, stores and fleet of iconic red buses that host millions of visitors to Glacier National Park each year will be under new management.

Park officials announced Tuesday that the lucrative contract to provide visitor services inside Glacier Park has been granted to concessioner giant Xanterra Parks and Resorts Inc.

Xanterra replaces Glacier Park Inc., which held the contract since 1981.

Pending review by Congress, the new 16-year contract will begin in January 2014.

“We have selected the best offer,” said Denise Germann, Glacier spokeswoman. “We’ve contacted (Xanterra) and we will work with them on execution of the contract, and Congress has a 60-day review period.”

Germann could not release the number of offers or names of other companies that submitted proposals for the contract. Some details will be finalized during the execution period, but many are detailed in the contract prospectus.

Visitor services include lodging, food and beverage, retail, transportation and other visitor services within the park.

In a prepared statement released Tuesday, Xanterra president and chief executive officer Andrew N. Todd said the company is “perfectly suited to the job of preserving this national treasure.”

“Glacier National Park has long been one of the National Park Service’s crown jewels, and all of us at Xanterra Parks and Resorts are privileged to be granted the opportunity to take the helm of the park’s concession operations and expand our partnership with the National Park Service,” Todd said in the statement.

***

The contract calls for operation of Lake McDonald Lodge, Apgar Village Inn, Rising Sun Motor Inn, Swiftcurrent Inn and Many Glacier Hotel, as well as the Two Medicine Camp Store, public showers and laundry facilities, and the red bus tours. The lodging facilities account for 498 guest beds and 467 employee housing beds.

In all, the concessions are expected to generate roughly $18.5 million annually.

The contract also calls for major upgrades on some of the park’s most popular hotels and lodges.

It requires replacement of much of the lodging furnishings throughout the park, remodeling selected guest rooms in the Many Glacier Hotel and Lake McDonald Lodge, improved food and beverage services at Heidi’s in Many Glacier and the Two Medicine Camp Store.

Last February, the agency estimated the contract winner will face an initial investment of nearly $33 million. The lion’s share of the investment includes $22 million in “possessory interest” – real estate and property interest already held by Glacier Park Inc.

The prospectus was amended in February to reflect the park’s plan to retain all of the iconic red buses.

Concessioners vying for the contract were asked to describe their plans for maintaining and carrying out a rehabilitation projects for the buses. The plan also calls for the addition of two accessible buses to the fleet.

Xanterra will pay a minimum franchise fee of 1 percent of the annual gross receipts. That money will be returned to the government each year.

The contract also includes a repair and maintenance reserve of 2.35 percent and a “Red Bus Rehabilitation Reserve” of 2.5 percent, each based on annual gross receipts.

***

National Park Service and “technical experts” outside the park performed a comprehensive analysis of the proposals for the contract and “selected the best responsive proposal based on factors identified in the prospectus,” a news release about the contract said.

The review process began with submission of proposals in December 2012 and was the first time since 1981 that the contract was put up for bid.

Dan Hansen, marketing and public relations manager for Glacier Park Inc., said the company was preparing a statement about the contract but hadn't released it as of Tuesday night.

Glacier Park Inc. is owned by Viad Corp.

According to its website, Viad also owns Brewster Inc., a “major tourism operator in western Canada,” as well as a handful of marketing and events companies.

Xanterra will assist Glacier Park Inc. in the transition, the release said.

Xanterra provides visitor services for a wide variety of national and state parks, including Crater Lake, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and Zion national parks, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The company is owned by Philip Anschutz, in addition to ventures in oil, railroads, telecommunications and entertainment. His Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corp. announced in May that it would shut down its search for oil and gas on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation alongside Glacier after a petition was circulated opposing Xanterra’s bid.

In February, Xanterra was re-awarded a 20-year visitor services contract with Yellowstone Park.

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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(7) Comments

  1. billyjack
    Report Abuse
    billyjack - August 15, 2013 7:26 pm
    #2 and showed the dates on the letters AO sent had been altered had asked why the regimes letter head changed 3 times in 2 days to seem legit,that's when the regime stormed out without 40 million of landowners monies,the next day DEMOCRAT SHANNON AUGARE,A POKA BOARD MEMBER, ANNOUNCED he was against fracking and started a moronic facebook petition to slander Anschutz because they refused to deal with the regime and sent letters saying they were a world wide legit business and nowhere did they deal with illegal gov'ts. That's what all the doc's I read say and the one's given to the GUARDIAN PROJECT
  2. billyjack
    Report Abuse
    billyjack - August 15, 2013 7:16 pm
    I'll put down according to documents how the CORRUPT WILLIE SHARP/SHANNON AUGARE regime ,yep that SHANNON of the POKA crime family conspired with BIA SUPT.STEVE POLLOCK to backdate leases with Anschutz Oil of individual landowners on march 16-17 2013 and take their lease monies for the next 40 years.
    The Regime met with AO in great falls on above dates and AO pointed out they were a illegal gov't and needed a quarum of 2/3 of 9 legally elected members from 4 districts,at that point they had 3 and a illegal that night they got a drunk guy on the regime,AO on 3-17 am said 6 of 9 legally elected they over night had new letter head with the 6,that afternoon they added 3 legally elected but illegally removed members to ''NEW'' letter head,but AO already sent letters saying they were not extending leases weeks before
  3. Sukey
    Report Abuse
    Sukey - August 15, 2013 3:11 am
    Sounds to me as if this is an American company well positioned to handle Glacier since it has the concessions at so many other National Parks. Sounds well subsidized to make the improvements and and much expertise in this field...
  4. Bruce Hammer
    Report Abuse
    Bruce Hammer - August 14, 2013 5:39 pm
    In other words, do the "progressively correct" thing and try to make sure Native Americans do not have the freedom to develop their own sources of income and be financially independent of the federal government. Liberals hate it when Native Americans break away and do their own thing, well within their rights, on their OWN land.
  5. dsrobins
    Report Abuse
    dsrobins - August 14, 2013 3:04 pm
    At least we are now liberated from the clutches of the loathsome Glacier Park, Inc., which has held the concession for far too many years. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
  6. bwhiteman
    Report Abuse
    bwhiteman - August 14, 2013 11:41 am
    ^ 100% propoganda.
  7. Scout
    Report Abuse
    Scout - August 13, 2013 10:41 pm
    Xanterra is a quality subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation. Whereas, Xanterra provides excellent visitor services for National and State park visitors, Anschutz is a resource exploiter - that is where the company's wealth exists. Acquiring the contract for visitor services in Glacier gives Anschutz a better chance to manipulate the Blackfeet Council and the Park administration to allow Anschutz to explore for gas (frack) and oil on the reservation - adjacent to the Park. It's an insidious ploy. If you love the Greater Glacier/Blackfeet Tribal Homeland fight to keep Anschutz from exploiting the area.
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