Park Service names new concession official – April 13, 2002

Park Service names new concession official

Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
April 13, 2002

By LEE JUILLERAT

 

Michael Justin, the former general manager of the Running Y Ranch Resort and member of the Oregon Tourism Commission, began work Tuesday as the management assistant-concession chief at Crater Lake National Park.

Justin replaces John Miele, who retired last year.

As a National Park Service employee, Justin will be responsible for dealing with the park concessionaire and implementing a new concession contract. Earlier this year Amfac was selected to handle park concessions. The company, the nation’s largest National Park concessionaire, has since changed its name to Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

Various concession facilities, including the Rim Village cafeteria-gift shop, that have been closed since last winter are scheduled to reopen next month.

“It’s a good opportunity to set some new cooperative goals to make this a team effort,” said Justin of working with the new concessionaire. “It’s going to be a fun occasion for me because I’ve dealt with hotel and resort management for most of my life.”

Justin, who has been doing consulting work for the past year-plus, moved to Klamath Falls in 1998 to oversee operations at the Running Y Ranch Resort. He previously was at the Black Butte Ranch near Bend from 1992 to 1998 and at Snowbird in Utah from 1976 to 1992 and earlier worked at Sun Valley in Idaho.

As a member of the Oregon Tourism Commission, Justin helped to bring the 2002 Governor’s Conference on Tourism to Klamath Falls. The conference opens Sunday and continues through Tuesday.

“We need to showcase Southern Oregon and tie that in with the Volcanic Legacy Scenic All American Road and the centennial of one of the greatest national parks in the nation,” said Justin of the governor’s tourism conference.

Chuck Lundy, Crater Lake’s superintendent, said Justin’s experience in tourism and resort management should benefit the park.

“Mike’s strong background and experience in the hospitality industry and his great knowledge of the state will be invaluable in the park’s continuing efforts for improving and assuring the quality of visitor services,” said Lundy.

In the past, the National Park Service has been criticized locally and nationally for being at a disadvantage in having relatively inexperienced staff deal with park concessionaires, who have sometimes been accused of manipulating park policies.

Lundy said Justin is joining the park management team “at a unique time, when a new concession contract has recently been awarded. I look forward to his leadership and helping to shape a new working partnership in the concessions program.”

Justin lives in Klamath Falls with his wife, Ellen, a fourth-grade teacher at Pelican Elementary School.

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