Glacier National Park Concession Contract To Expire December 31, 2013

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From Viad Corp., Glacier Park, Inc.’s Parent company:

Many Glacier Hotel

Many Glacier Hotel

Viad Corp (NYSE:VVI) today announced that the contract to operate concessions in Glacier National Park, held by its Glacier Park, Inc. (“Glacier Park”) business unit, will end on December 31, 2013.  Upon completion of the contract term, the company is entitled to a cash payment of $25 million for its “possessory interest,” which generally means the value of the structures acquired or constructed, fixtures installed and improvements made to the concession property during the term of the contract.  The company is also entitled to an estimated $5 million to $6 million for the personal property used at the facilities covered by the concession contract.

Paul B. Dykstra, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Viad, said, “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to have worked with the U.S. National Park Service to provide an exceptional experience to Glacier National Park visitors for more than 30 years.  Although we would have preferred to retain the concession operations as part of our Travel & Recreation portfolio, we will still have a strong business in the Glacier National Park area without the contract.  And we will continue seeking additional opportunities to expand our Travel & Recreation operations in and around the National Parks as part of our ‘Refresh, Build, Buy’ growth strategy.”

viadOf the 1,015 rooms currently operated by Glacier Park, only 480 are covered by the concession contract.  Following the expiration of the concession contract on December 31, 2013, the ongoing Glacier Park business will include: Glacier Park Lodge (161 rooms in East Glacier, Montana); Grouse Mountain Lodge (143 rooms in Whitefish, Montana); St. Mary Lodge,  Cabins and Motel (115 rooms in St. Mary, Montana); the Prince of Wales Hotel (86 rooms in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada); and the Stewart Hotel (30 rooms located adjacent to Lake McDonald Lodge, inside Glacier National Park).

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Viad has owned Glacier Park, Inc. since 1981 when it purchased the concessionaire from Don Hummel who formed it in 1960 to operate the park’s hotels. The hotels’ builder, the Great Northern Railway, operated the hotels until 1957. Donald T. Knutson operated the hotels between the time the railroad left and Glacier Park, Inc. took over the operation over a half century ago. Xanterra is the new concessionaire.

Malcolm

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4 responses

  1. Was this a decision by the park service or by the vendor operating the concession(s)? That seems a lot of money being spent for the facilities, hope it will not shortchange the park services.

    • The National Park Service periodically renews the contract; this new one is for 16 years. The money owned GPI represents equity they have in the facilities after having operated them for so many years. Glacier, like most parks, is under-funded, but the NPS makes money off the concessionaire’s operations at the hotels.

  2. Since the Park Service awarded the contract to Xanterra it exhibits that they have lost their respect for the very environment that allows the Park to exist. I will no longer visit nor support Glacier Park.