Decision on Crater Lake concessionaire delayed – December 24, 2001

Decision on Crater Lake concessionaire delayed

Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
December 24, 2001


A decision on a new concessionaire for Crater Lake National Park has been delayed until mid to late January. It was supposed to have been made by now.

Earlier this year four companies submitted detailed offers for concession operations at the park, which has been without services since late October when the park’s long-time concessionaire, Crater Lake Lodge, Inc., quit providing services. The company operated park concession services, including the Crater Lake Lodge, Rim Village cafeteria-gift shop, facilities at Mazama Village, campgrounds and boat tours since 1976.

Companies that submitted offers include Amfac Recreational Services Inc., of Aurora, Colo.; Aramark Corp. of Philadelphia, Penn.; Delaware North Parks Services of Buffalo, N.Y.; and Regency Inns Management Inc., of Sioux Falls, S.D.

An evaluation panel is studying the proposals and will recommend a company to the National Park Service’s regional director. A contract will be awarded this winter.

The new concessionaire is expected to reopen facilities later this winter or early next spring. The timing is especially critical because the park is planning a series of activities to celebrate its centennial throughout 2002.

“I think everyone realizes the importance of moving ahead with selecting a new concessionaire,” said park Superintendent Chuck Lundy. “The timing for the selection process is out of our hands.”

The park’s winter services are limited to the Steel Visitor Information Center near park headquarters. The center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Along with the park orientation film, limited snack and beverage services are being offered through the Crater Lake Natural History Association, which also sells postcards, books and other educational items.

Concession facilities at Rim Village, including the cafeteria and gift shop are closed until late winter/early spring. In past years the cafeteria and gift shop have operated through the winter, weather permitting. Ironically, the winter’s heavy snows and frequent snowplow breakdowns have prevented the rim area from being open to visitors.

Despite the lack of a concessionaire, reservations for lodgings at both the lodge and Mazama Village Motor Inn can be made by telephoning (541) 830-8700.

The National Park Service earlier this year sought prospectuses from companies interesting in seeking a new 15-year contract. Several stipulations were attached, including provisions to return a higher percentage of profits to the Park Service and relocate some Rim Village services to the Mazama Village area at the concessionaire’s expense.

In August, Crater Lake Lodge Inc., announced it would not submit an offer to continue operating the park’s commercial services.