The National Park Service recently signed a concession contract with Yosemite Hospitality, LLC, a subsidiary of Aramark, to provide concession services within Yosemite National Park. The 15-year contract, the largest single contract in the National Park Service, will begin on March 1, 2016. The current concessioner, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., a subsidiary of Delaware North Co., has held its contract since 1993.
“The National Park Service looks forward to a successful relationship with Yosemite Hospitality,” stated Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.
As the new concessioner, Yosemite Hospitality will continue to provide visitor services at Yosemite National Park iconic locations. Millions of visitors will continue to enjoy services at historic locations including The Ahwahnee, Curry Village, Wawona, and Yosemite Lodge. The contract includes the operation of 17 retail locations, 12 lodging properties, and 14 food and beverage service locations. In 2014, the current contract gross receipts were $146 million.
Highlights of the contract include:
* Yosemite Hospitality will pay a franchise fee of 11.75% of gross receipts, 80% of which will directly support improvements to visitor facilities and park operations. This was 3.75% higher than the minimum franchise fee required in the prospectus of 8.0% of gross receipts.
* Popular visitor services such as lodging and food service will continue at The Ahwahnee, Glacier Point, Yosemite Lodge, Wawona, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, High Sierra Camps, and Curry Village. In addition, activities such as ice skating, skiing, bicycle rentals, shuttle service, and raft rentals will continue to be authorized for park visitors under the new contract. Horseback rides will be available in the Wawona area. The Yosemite Mountaineering School will continue at Badger Pass, Curry Village and Tuolumne Meadows.
* Major improvements will be made to food and beverage service at Degnan’s Deli and Loft, Yosemite Lodge Food Court, and the Curry Village food service facilities. These improvements will be made by Yosemite Hospitality at no cost to the National Park Service. In addition, enhanced menus embracing healthy food options will be implemented at all locations.
* Yosemite Hospitality will reduce the concession footprint of facilities and operations within Yosemite Valley. Operational efficiencies gained from proposed improvements will enable Yosemite Hospitality to reduce the footprint associated with concessioner activities.
* Yosemite Hospitality will implement major conservation activities to reduce water, electricity, and fuel use in shuttle systems, lodging, employee housing, and food outlets. Water and energy saving fixtures will be installed, or upgraded as needed, throughout lodging and employee housing areas. The park concession facilities will become a model of sustainability and enhance resource protection.
* Significant investments will be made in upgrading room furniture and amenities in lodging at The Ahwahnee, Curry Village, and Wawona.
“We are excited to be working with the National Park Service to create great new memories for Yosemite’s many enthusiasts who hold the park so near and dear to their hearts and we look forward to introducing innovative programs and experiences that shape the legacy of this amazing and iconic Park,” said Bruce W. Fears, president of Aramark’s Leisure division. “We are also looking forward to working with the community and developing partnerships with local businesses. Aramark has always had strong ties with the communities in which we live and work and we are eager to do the same here in Yosemite.”
Aramark, Delaware North, and the National Park Service are currently working together on the transition of operations to prepare for the contract turnover on March 1, 2016. Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) realized gross revenues of $14.8 billion in fiscal year 2014, employing more than 270,000 employees in 21 countries. Aramark currently holds eight NPS contracts in Lake Mead, Mesa Verde, Glen Canyon, Olympic (3 contracts), Denali, and Glacier Bay.
“The park would like to express its gratitude to Delaware North for providing quality visitor services at Yosemite National Park for the last 22 years,” stated Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.
Yosemite National Park celebrated its 125th Anniversary this year. The park welcomes over four million visitors from all over the world each year. Yosemite National Park is home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and iconic rock formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan. The park also features approximately 90 different species of mammals and over 1500 species of flowering plants.
For updates on Aramark’s progress and status on assuming the concession contract in Yosemite, see aramark.com/yosemite.