North Rim contract for concessions goes to Arizona company

When North Rim concessions reopen for the 2008 season, they will under new management. Last week, Grand Canyon North Rim, L.L.C., an Arizona-based company associated with Forever Resorts, Inc., was selected to provide hospitality services at the park's North Rim. Their bid competed with six others, including one from current concessioner, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, for the contract to provide lodging, food and beverage, retail, public showers, laundry and a gas station. The change will not affect Xanterra's South Rim contract.

Others submitting proposals were ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment Services, Inc.; Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Inc.; Guest Services, Inc.; National Park Hospitality Company (associated with Vail Resorts, Inc.) and Mr. Darrell Hafen.

North Rim facilities are generally open from mid-May through mid-October, serving about 320,000 visitors each season. The centerpiece of the operation, the historic North Rim Lodge, was built in 1928 by the Union Pacific Railroad, and rebuilt mostly according to original plans in 1936 after being leveled by fire. The railroad deeded the properties to the park in the early 1970s.

Due to changes in the NPS Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998, this is the first time the contract for these services has been competitively bid.

Forever Resorts, Inc., the parent company of Grand Canyon North Rim, L.L.C., started in 1981 with marina operations on lakes Mead and Mohave, Nev., and now operates concessions in other national parks, including Blue Ridge Parkway, Grand Teton National Park, Isle Royale National Park, Big Bend National Park, Badlands National Park and Olympic

National Park.

They also operate Mormon Lake Lodge and Zane Grey Museum in Flagstaff.

"We are pleased to welcome Grand Canyon North Rim, L.L.C. to our excellent team of concessioners at Grand Canyon National Park," said Superintendent Steve Martin. "The North Rim is a spectacular place to see the Grand Canyon, and we look forward to working with the new concessioner to provide visitors with a great experience."

A team of experts analyzed the proposals based on criteria specified in the Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998.

Those criteria include protecting and conserving park resources, providing necessary and appropriate facilities and services to the public at reasonable rates, the experience of the concessioner, the financial capability of the concessioner and proposed franchise fee.

Guidelines used to evaluate all seven proposals can be found at http://concessions.nps.gov/policy.cfm.

For more information, contact Laura Shearin at 928-226-0169.

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