New Yosemite concessions contract now up for bid

The Fresno BeeJuly 9, 2014 

The National Park Service has issued its prospectus seeking companies to bid to operate lodging, food and beverage sales and recreation services at Yosemite National Park -- the largest single concessions contract in the national park system.

Delaware North Companies has held the concession contract at Yosemite since 1993, and its gross revenues from the contract are estimated at $125 million to $130 million a year. About 10% of the revenues are paid to the National Park Service under the current contract. The NPS is seeking a minimum concession fee of 8.6% in the new contract, plus additional investments estimated at about $32 million.

DNC employs as many as 1,800 workers during the park's peak summer tourism season. It operates about 1,500 lodging units inside the park, inclduing the Ahwahnee and Wawona hotels and Yosemite Lodge and cabins and tent cabins in other parts of the park. The company also runs 25 eateries, from luxury hotel dining rooms to rustic snack bars; 19 retail shops selling groceries, supplies, apparel and souvenirs; shuttle buses to ferry visitors to attractions within the park; and recreation services including tours and guides, horse and mule services and the Badger Pass ski area.

The new concession contract will be issued for a 15-year term starting March 1, 2016. Companies competing for the award have until Nov. 20 to submit bids.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6319, or @tsheehan on Twitter.

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