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Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services

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avatar Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 28, 2011 06:30PM
Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
Date: September 28, 2011

The National Park Service (NPS) has continued the contract with DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. to provide visitor services within the park from October 1, 2011 through January 31, 2015. The previous contract extension expires on September 30, 2011. The park is continuing the process of developing a new prospectus for visitor services.

DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. currently provides hotel, food and beverage, lodging, retail, and other services within the park. Hotels include The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge, and the Wawona Hotel. Visitor services include raft rentals on the Merced River, the Yosemite Mountaineering School, and horse and mule rides in Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, and Wawona.

The continuation of the contact was deemed necessary to ensure that there is no disruption of visitor services while the park works on several planning efforts. The provisions of the current contract will not change. DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. will continue to provide existing services from October 1, 2011 through January 31, 2015 or until such time as a new contract regarding the visitor services provided under the contract is awarded, whichever comes first.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 07:59AM
Oh heck, I was hoping that they would get a different concessionaire. Since DNC took over, service has gone down, rooms are dirty and prices continue to soar. You get less bang for the buck than you got with Curry CO. We stay in other National Parks each year and in my experience, Xanterra gives you the best stay for the best price. In Zion for $180/night you can get a redecorated cabin with a bathroom, dressing area, fireplace and a porch. They even have down comforters and Pendleton blankets on the beds.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 08:12AM
Quote
parklover
Oh heck, I was hoping that they would get a different concessionaire. Since DNC took over, service has gone down, rooms are dirty and prices continue to soar. You get less bang for the buck than you got with Curry CO. We stay in other National Parks each year and in my experience, Xanterra gives you the best stay for the best price. In Zion for $180/night you can get a redecorated cabin with a bathroom, dressing area, fireplace and a porch. They even have down comforters and Pendleton blankets on the beds.


In defense of DNC:
They converted the Tuolumne Meadows High Sierra Camp into a Lodge.

Sarcasm sign
Marmot
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 08:10AM
I can't really talk about accomodations since I don't have much experience with this in Yosemite but I can say the food, with very few exceptions (maybe only one) is very subpar for the price - I wish more thought would be given to providing quality food services in what is arguably the greatest National Park on earth.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 10:01AM
I've been to multiple National Parks, and the overall food quality at Yosemite is actually BETTER than most of them.

My main beef with DNC is the quality and price of their lodging accommodations. The biggest ripoff now is the obscene price they now charge for a crappy canvas tent cabin in the summer. There's absolutely no freaking way they should be charging more than $50 for these very rustic and low grade accommodations. And the price they charge for a Yosemite Lodge deluxe lodge room wouldn't be too outrageous if the rooms were upgraded to what one can find at all Hampton Inn and Holiday Inns. Things like beds with mattresses in very good condition with good quality (and full length) linens, air conditioning, and stain-free chairs and couches. But lodging accommodations in Yosemite are very subpar for the price they charge (including the Ahwahnee).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/29/2011 09:36PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 10:17AM
Quote
plawrence
I've been to multiple National Parks, and the overall food quality at Yosemite is actually BETTER than most of them.

There's competition in Yellowstone. I think that's a good thing.

Xanterra runs all the lodging operations in Yellowstone along with many of the campgrounds (I think it's all the reservable ones). The dining options are a mix between Xanterra and DNC.

DNC runs Yellowstone General Stores, which has some inexpensive dining options. They don't exactly make it clear who runs what when you go into a restaurant, but the ones that DNC operates are usually the ones that aren't associated with lodging (i.e. in a lodge building or hotel).
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 08:18PM
Quote
plawrence
I've been to multiple National Parks, and the overall food quality at Yosemite is actually BETTER than most of them.

My main beef with DNC is the quality and price of their lodging accommodations. The biggest ripoff now is the obscene price they now charge for a crappy canvas tent cabin in the summer. These's absolutely no freaking way they should be charging more than $50 for these very rustic and low grade accommodations. And the price they charge for a Yosemite Lodge deluxe lodge room wouldn't be too outrageous if the rooms were upgraded to what one can find at all Hampton Inn and Holiday Inns. Things like beds with mattresses in very good condition with good quality (and full length) linens, air conditioning, and stain-free chairs and couches. But lodging accommodations in Yosemite are very subpar for the price they charge (including the Ahwahnee).



I agree with you about the lodging comments but not so much the food. Unless you eat at the Ahwahnee, the Mountain Room, the Wawona Hotel or get a sandwich at Degnan's, food has really gone down hill every where else. Breakfast at the Yosemite Lodge Cafeteria is good but dinner is iffy, the buffet at Curry is bad and even the pizza at Curry has gone downhill. It does not help that my whole family came down on the last night of our visit last December with food poisoning. We now get our pizza at Degnan's Loft. I really miss the old 4 season restaurant that was next to where the Lodge cafeteria is. It was a sit down place that had some of the same menu as the Mountain Room but at a lesser price. I also remember when the loft had everything from steaks, pizza and pasta and the best burritos that I have ever had. In Yellowstone we have had great meals at the Lake Hotel, Old Faithful lodge and Roosevelt Lodge. Also good meals at the El Tovar and the North Rim Lodge at the Grand Canyon. Never had a bad meal at the Grand Teton Lodge or at the Signal Mountain Lodge down the road. Zion Lodge is improving. I can say that one of the worst dinners I ever had was at Bryce Canyon Lodge.

Don't even get me started on the Lodging in Yosemite. We stayed at the Ahwahnee for our 20th anniversary a few years ago and it was a such a nightmare that I wrote a three page letter. Two trips ago the room we had at the Lodge had a cob web that was 1 1/2 feet long and 4 inches wide across one corner of the room, the sheets were ripped and stained, the towels had holes in them,the bathroom had mold every where and the paint was peeling off the ceiling and walls, the toilet leaked, there was no toilet paper and the room was so dirty the furniture looked white in places. All this for almost $250 a night.

In Yellowstone the more of the fast food type of places are run by DNC and the nice places in the Lodges are Xanterra. One of our Yellowstone trips was about a year after DNC took over some of the Yellowstone places and when I asked a few employees how it was going, they said that they hated working for DNC. Got the same answer last year while we were on a float trip in the Tetons and some Teton Lodge employees were on our raft. We were talking and they said that they had been working for DNC in Yellowstone earlier that summer but left and got jobs at Teton Lodge.

Sorry, I hate to drag on and on about this but we have had some very disappointing experiences with DNC the past few years. We didn't mind that when we stayed at the Wawona it was right after the boiler blew up and there were restrictions on when we could shower, nor on our last stay at the Lodge a hot water pipe burst and we had to shower later. Those things were unavoidable. However, dirty rooms and poor food at the prices they charge are a sin.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 01:55AM
Quote
parklover

Don't even get me started on the Lodging in Yosemite. We stayed at the Ahwahnee for our 20th anniversary a few years ago and it was a such a nightmare that I wrote a three page letter.

The last time I stayed at the Ahwahnee (about seven years ago now), I arrived quite late (around 2:00 AM in the morning since I had didn't leave my work until 8:00 PM, and didn't leave my home for Yosemite until after 10:00 PM). Anyway to be sure, I called ahead from my cell phone while driving around 10:30 PM to make sure I would be able to check-in late. The front desk clerk assured me that it would be no problem since the front desk at the Ahwahnee is staffed 24 hours a day.

Anyway, I arrive there a little after 2:00 AM and there's no one at the front desk! I rang the bell at the front desk. No one showed up. I wait 20 minutes. Still no one. I finally called the front desk of the Yosemite Lodge and informed them of my predicament. They were surprised that no one was at the front desk of the Ahwahnee. They ended up calling up a manager of the Ahwahnee and she finally arrived at the Ahwahnee at 2:40 AM to check me in. The night clerk finally got back to the front desk about five minutes after the manager had arrived. He claimed that he was helping another guest with their luggage. (Uh-huh – forty minutes to move luggage from a car to a room, right... It took him less than 10 minutes to transport the luggage from my car to my cottage room.)
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 08:50AM
I was disappointed to say the least by the extension but not the least surprised. Does the last sentence mean they have started asking for bids and there is a remote possibility we will get someone new prior to 2015? Nineteen years as volunteers and we have seen lots deteriorate and I second all the other comments.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 11:20AM
Slightly off topic but the Buffalo Tacos in the Badlands are outstanding. If you are ever there, they are a must-have.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 04:36PM
Does anyone remember why Curry Co. lost the contract?
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 05:01PM
MCA which owned Yosemite Park and Curry Company was pressed to give back its concessions after MCA was bought by the Japanese conglomerate Matsushita Electric Industrial Company in December of 1990. It was the result of the strong anti-Japanese sentiment among the American public at a time when a lot of Japanese companies were buying a lot of American real estate due to the very strong Japanese economy and a weak U.S. dollar.

Here's a link to a N.Y. Times January 1991 article about the transfer/sell of the Yosemite Park and Curry Company:

New York Times: MCA Agrees to Sell Interest In Yosemite to End Dispute


avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 10:06PM
Quote
plawrence
MCA which owned Yosemite Park and Curry Company was pressed to give back its concessions after MCA was bought by the Japanese conglomerate Matsushita Electric Industrial Company in December of 1990. It was the result of the strong anti-Japanese sentiment among the American public at a time when a lot of Japanese companies were buying a lot of American real estate due to the very strong Japanese economy and a weak U.S. dollar.

I guess they missed out on the chance to build another Universal Studios theme park in Yosemite Valley. Sarcasm sign
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 05:02PM
Quote
mtn man
Does anyone remember why Curry Co. lost the contract?

From http://readerfeedback.labs.wikimedia.org/wiki/Yosemite_National_Park :

In the early years of the park, different companies ran multiple hotels and resorts. These resorts included the Wawona Hotel, the Yosemite Park Lodge, and Camp Curry, a tent cabin site in Yosemite Valley. The Yosemite Park & Curry Company was formed in 1925 to consolidate those often-competing concessions. The Park Service granted the newly formed company exclusive right to operate hotels, restaurants and most stores in Yosemite. Two years later, the new company was headquartered on the mezzanine level of its new hotel, The Ahwahnee. The Yosemite Park and Curry Company ran the concessions in the park for over 50 years until the company was sold in the late 1970s to United States Natural Resources (USNR) and a couple of years later to MCA which operated Universal Studios. During those ownership changes, the Curry Company name continued. In 1993, MCA was acquired by Matsushita. Then Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan objected to a Japanese firm operating concessions in a U.S. national park, so to avoid delay of federal approval of the acquisition, Matsushita arranged for the sale of the concessions company, ownership of its concession properties was transferred to the federal government, and the Yosemite Park and Curry Co. name was retired. The park concession contract is now operated by Delaware North Companies "Parks and Resorts" (the official concessionaire name in DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.).
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 29, 2011 05:04PM
Quote
mtn man
Does anyone remember why Curry Co. lost the contract?

They never really "lost" the contract. The business was sold off and the descendants have maintained the contract ever since.

They were bought out by MCA in the 80s I think. When Matsushita bought out MCA in 1990, there was an uproar about a Japanese company possibily having control over concessions. They were originally going to donate it to a non-profit, but changed their mind. DNC turned out to be the buyer.

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/01/09/us/mca-agrees-to-sell-interest-in-yosemite-to-end-dispute.html
http://articles.latimes.com/1990-12-06/news/mn-8269_1_national-park-service
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 07:32AM
I've never really had a problem with them, and the pizza at Curry is actually unexpectedly awesome.

Take my advice, however, and avoid the chili in a bread bowl in the Mountain Room. Microwaved. Tough as a plastic garbage can lid.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 09:51AM
I've never really had a problem with them, and the pizza at Curry is actually unexpectedly awesome!!!!

I had some last July and thought it tasted like DiGiorno's! - Sorry Tanngrisnr3 but you're out of your mind, Curry pizza is not good at all - I agree with ParkLover - Next time I will only eat at Degnan's
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 11:46AM
Quote
SoCalCPA
I've never really had a problem with them, and the pizza at Curry is actually unexpectedly awesome!!!!

I had some last July and thought it tasted like DiGiorno's! - Sorry Tanngrisnr3 but you're out of your mind, Curry pizza is not good at all - I agree with ParkLover - Next time I will only eat at Degnan's

OK, so we've established that you have lousy taste in pizza.

Anything else?
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 12:06PM
We've never had any problem with DNC 'food'... we never eat it.
(Healthfully Yours)
The Marmots



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2011 12:07PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 12:13PM
Does DNC run the TM Grill? Aside from the slightly dry french fries, their hamburgers are not too bad for hungry folks just coming off the trails.

Never had much luck with food in the valley ever since the decent family resturant in Curry Village got replaced with either a MacDonalds or Burger King back in the 70's.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 01:07PM
Quote
tomdisco
not too bad for hungry folks just coming off the trails.

Such folks are not known for being good food critics.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 01:21PM
Quote
tomdisco
Does DNC run the TM Grill? Aside from the slightly dry french fries, their hamburgers are not too bad for hungry folks just coming off the trails.

Never had much luck with food in the valley ever since the decent family resturant in Curry Village got replaced with either a MacDonalds or Burger King back in the 70's.


http://www.nature.com/embor/journal/v4/n10/full/embor953.html
Marmot
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 12:32PM
Quote
szalkowski
We've never had any problem with DNC 'food'... we never eat it.
(Healthfully Yours)
The Marmots

P.S. Even our chikins refuse to eat it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2011 01:05PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 12:08PM
Just for clarification, I wonder if everyone is referring to the pizza sold and served on the outdoor Pizza Deck in Curry Village, and not the pizza that's sometimes included in the Curry Dinning Room buffet.

The pizza that was sometimes served as part of the all-you-can-eat buffet was truly lousy, worse than even DiGiorno's.

The pizza that's served on the pizza deck (at least as of 2010 – I haven't eaten there this year) is pretty decent in my opinion (but not great), though I usually prefer the variety of pizza toppings offered at the Degnan's Loft a bit more.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 12:56PM
Quote
tanngrisnir3
Quote
SoCalCPA
I've never really had a problem with them, and the pizza at Curry is actually unexpectedly awesome!!!!

I had some last July and thought it tasted like DiGiorno's! - Sorry Tanngrisnr3 but you're out of your mind, Curry pizza is not good at all - I agree with ParkLover - Next time I will only eat at Degnan's

OK, so we've established that you have lousy taste in pizza.

Anything else?

I'm also not crazy about cardboard topped by overcooked ketchup with a sprinkling of processed cheese
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 03:50PM
Quote
tanngrisnir3
I've never really had a problem with them, and the pizza at Curry is actually unexpectedly awesome.

Take my advice, however, and avoid the chili in a bread bowl in the Mountain Room. Microwaved. Tough as a plastic garbage can lid.

I have never seen chili in a bread bowl served in the Mountain Room Restaurant but only at the bar across the way. I wonder if it is the same as the one they serve at the Ahwahnee. I have never had either of them.

The pizza I was referring to at Curry is the one that is at the Pizza Deck. I have never had one from the buffet. We used to get pizza at the Curry Pizza Deck at least once each trip but last year, something had changed and they were not as good, in fact, we had one that we could not eat. We now get pizza at Degan's Loft and find it is better. I have always wondered why the pizza at the Lodge Cafeteria is so different than the Loft and Curry pizza. It has some sort of seasoning around the crust that I don't really like.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 04:26PM
Quote
parklover
Quote
tanngrisnir3
I've never really had a problem with them, and the pizza at Curry is actually unexpectedly awesome.

Take my advice, however, and avoid the chili in a bread bowl in the Mountain Room. Microwaved. Tough as a plastic garbage can lid.

I have never seen chili in a bread bowl served in the Mountain Room Restaurant but only at the bar across the way. I wonder if it is the same as the one they serve at the Ahwahnee. I have never had either of them.

The pizza I was referring to at Curry is the one that is at the Pizza Deck. I have never had one from the buffet. We used to get pizza at the Curry Pizza Deck at least once each trip but last year, something had changed and they were not as good, in fact, we had one that we could not eat. We now get pizza at Degan's Loft and find it is better. I have always wondered why the pizza at the Lodge Cafeteria is so different than the Loft and Curry pizza. It has some sort of seasoning around the crust that I don't really like.

Maybe it was an off-night last year when you visited Curry's Pizza Deck. I was there twice in 2010, and it wasn't really not that much different the previous years, except for the price increase. sad smiley

I think the Lodge's food court pizza is probably the closest to DiGiorno's (and not in a good way). What's sad is that for a few years (about three to five years ago), the Food Court's pizza stand used to also serve an excellent baked mac & cheese. It it was inexpensive too! Unfortunately, they discontinued serving it after three years. Sigh...


Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 07:31PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
parklover
Quote
tanngrisnir3
I've never really had a problem with them, and the pizza at Curry is actually unexpectedly awesome.

Take my advice, however, and avoid the chili in a bread bowl in the Mountain Room. Microwaved. Tough as a plastic garbage can lid.

I have never seen chili in a bread bowl served in the Mountain Room Restaurant but only at the bar across the way. I wonder if it is the same as the one they serve at the Ahwahnee. I have never had either of them.

The pizza I was referring to at Curry is the one that is at the Pizza Deck. I have never had one from the buffet. We used to get pizza at the Curry Pizza Deck at least once each trip but last year, something had changed and they were not as good, in fact, we had one that we could not eat. We now get pizza at Degan's Loft and find it is better. I have always wondered why the pizza at the Lodge Cafeteria is so different than the Loft and Curry pizza. It has some sort of seasoning around the crust that I don't really like.

Maybe it was an off-night last year when you visited Curry's Pizza Deck. I was there twice in 2010, and it wasn't really not that much different the previous years, except for the price increase. sad smiley

I think the Lodge's food court pizza is probably the closest to DiGiorno's (and not in a good way). What's sad is that for a few years (about three to five years ago), the Food Court's pizza stand used to also serve an excellent baked mac & cheese. It it was inexpensive too! Unfortunately, they discontinued serving it after three years. Sigh...



Can't say that it was an off night because we noticed that the pizza was different the last few times we ate there. The first time it happened, last December, we thought that they might have had a new person working that night but then it was the same on our first two Yosemite visits this year. The sauce is different and they are now skimpy on the cheese and toppings. Too bad about the Mac n cheese.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 04:34PM
Let me re-phrase my original question...Does anyone remember why Curry and Co. Sold to MCA? I'm going somewhere with this, just wondering if anyone else remembers why this happened. By the way I sure liked the concession and the prices of lodging better when Curry and Co. was running it, before selling to MCA, and then this all ending up with an eastern ballpark concessionaire (DNC).
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 05:03PM
There is a long history of Camp Curry in this 13MB, 250 page report prepared last year:

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/yose/camp_curry_clr.pdf

pp76-77:

Camp Curry lost a large part of its cultural character when the Firefall ceased in 1968. However, shortly afterwards certain corporate events further reshaped the image of this national concessionaire icon. On October 25, 1968, Director Hartzog confirmed a name change suggested by YP&CCo president, Stuart Cross. Since then the operation has been known as Curry Village. Two years later, Mary Curry Tresidder died of a heart attack in her Ahwahnee penthouse suite. She had relinquished company presidency to longtime friend and Curry employee Hil Oehlmann in 1963, but retained her position as chairman of the board until 1968. Between 1970 and 1974, the YP&CCo shuffled through a series of changing corporate identities and leadership. Finally, Music Company of America [MCA] emerged triumphant over Shasta Telecasting Corporation and U.S. Natural Resources, Inc.

The public did not receive the transition favorably. MCA immediately became identified as the soulless “Hollywood conglomerate” muscling out a popular, home-grown family operation. And Mary Tresidder’s death during the middle of the corporate takeover did not help the situation. From the outset the new MCA managed YP&CCo had to deal with misfortune. On Easter Sunday 1973, when the company was still in the midst of negotiating a purchase, the recently remodeled Curry dining room was destroyed by fire. Then, less than a month after finalizing the concessionaire purchase, YP&CCo introduced a radical proposal for redesigning the lodging facilities at Curry Village. The Pacific West Regional Office and Denver Service Center (the NPS’s centralized planning, design and project management office) both initially rejected the plans as being “too sketchy” and containing a “number of unanswered questions.” However they gave tentative approval to a new set of plans in January 1974, even allowing YP&CCo’s architect to use discretion in “combining the basic [lodging] units into one, two, and three-story accommodations.” The substantial structures proposed would not be cut-rate accommodations.

etc.

In regards to the extension: I don't care about the pizza, but I feel a little sorry for the employees. I've heard a lot of complaints about how they are treated by DNC.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
September 30, 2011 05:08PM
In addition to the information provided above by QITNL, also see the following [scroll down and read the third paragraph in the section titled "History of the Yosemite Sentinel"]:
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/yosemite_sentinel/
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 08:41AM
Apparently monopoly is good bor business.

Why National Park prefers a monopoly is a separate question.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 10:56AM
Quote
Yury
Apparently monopoly is good bor business.

Why National Park prefers a monopoly is a separate question.

Depends on the park. I mentioned that there were multiple concessionaires at Yellowstone (although only one operates lodging). Same goes for Grand Teton. I think they even put up one restaurant for an individual contact. At Grand Canyon they've separated the North and South Rim operations. Xanterra lost the contract for the North Rim a few years back.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 04:57PM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
Yury
Apparently monopoly is good bor business.

Why National Park prefers a monopoly is a separate question.

Depends on the park. I mentioned that there were multiple concessionaires at Yellowstone (although only one operates lodging). Same goes for Grand Teton. I think they even put up one restaurant for an individual contact. At Grand Canyon they've separated the North and South Rim operations. Xanterra lost the contract for the North Rim a few years back.

From my trip info for these parks:

In the Grand Tetons the Grand Teton Lodge Company runs Jackson Lake Lodge which includes lodging, gift shops, two restaurants, a bar and offers horseback riding, float trips and tours ;Jenny Lake Lodge which consists of exclusive cabins and a restaurant and at Colter Bay Village they run numerous tourism related facilities including cabins, a restaurant, a grocery store, a laundry and a marina. South of Jackson Lake Dam the Signal Mountain Lodge is managed by Forever Resorts and provides cabins, a marina, a gas station and a restaurant. The American Alpine Club offers basic hostel dormitory style accommodations primarily reserved for mountain climbers at the Grand Teton Climber's Ranch. Adjacent to the Snake River in Moose, Wyoming, Dornans is an inholding on private land which has year round cabin accommodations and related facilities They have great pizza there. Lodging is also available at the Triangle X Ranch, another private inholding in the park and the last remaining dude ranch within park boundary. We have been going to the Tetons every 2- 5 years since 1989 or 90. The last time we went was last year and the concessionaires were the same.

In Yellowstone: Xanterra Parks and Resorts manages all in-park lodging,restaurants, cafeterias, grills, bakeries, gift stores (including Fred Harvey), tours and activities. DNC runs restaurants, stores and lodging in the town of West Yellowstone. In the park they run the Yellowstone General Stores and the food places that are in those stores. This is how it was last year and from their websites remains the same.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon was Forever Resorts when we were there a few years ago and I think that it still is.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 02:55PM
Was there ever any chance for public input before this decision was made?
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 05:05PM
Quote
eeek
Was there ever any chance for public input before this decision was made?

I keep track of all notices Yosemite puts out and never saw anything asking for public input.

Last year when we were in Yellowstone attending the opening of the Old Faithful Visitor Educational Center there were upper management people from Xanterra staying where we were. Since I knew that DNC's contract was near the end, I asked one of them if they were going to bid on the Yosemite contract and the man I talked to said " We won't touch that park with a ten foot pole." When I asked why, he said that it is too political there. I am not sure what he meant by that and he was unwilling to go into detail.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 04:42PM
It looks like the El Portal gas station lost it's contract. It's closed.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 04:57PM
Quote
Dave
It looks like the El Portal gas station lost it's contract. It's closed.

It's contract is it a tank update issue?
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 06:38PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Dave
It look's like the El Portal ga's station lost it's contract. It's clo'sed.

It's contract is it a tank update issue?
No. The tank's, the land, the pump's, belong to the park. The building i's privately owned.

Thi's i's from Wedne'sday's Daily Report:

El Portal Gas Station Closure On Friday, September 30, 2011, the operator of the El Portal gas station has been instructed to close down and terminate all services. A successor operator will be contracted by NPS to install replacement equipment and operate the station as soon as possible. During the closure period when services are not available, local residents may obtain gasoline and diesel at the fuel dispensing facility in Yosemite Valley by registering with the DNC garage office to obtain a personal identification number for their credit card for use at the pump station. Propane fuel is available at the DNC garage. The DNC garage office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (telephone 372-8320). (M. Mann - 9/28)


Is that enough 's Grinning Devil



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2011 06:42PM by Dave.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 07:04PM
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Dave
Thi's i's from Wedne'sday's Daily Report:

How did I miss that?
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 07:16PM
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eeek
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Dave
Thi's i's from Wedne'sday's Daily Report:

How did I miss that?


Perhaps because the person that normally writes the Daily Report suffers from Apostrophe Aphasia?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2011 08:04PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 07:09PM
Sounds like this wasn't a normal, run of the mill, "let's agree to see other people" lost contract issue, but rather a "get the hell out, we'll figure out what to do later" lost contract issue.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 09:07PM
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Dave

This is from Wednesday's Daily Report:

El Portal Gas Station Closure On Friday, September 30, 2011, the operator of the El Portal gas station has been instructed to close down and terminate all services. A successor operator will be contracted by NPS to install replacement equipment and operate the station as soon as possible. During the closure period when services are not available, local residents may obtain gasoline and diesel at the fuel dispensing facility in Yosemite Valley by registering with the DNC garage office to obtain a personal identification number for their credit card for use at the pump station. Propane fuel is available at the DNC garage. The DNC garage office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (telephone 372-8320). (M. Mann - 9/28)

So what does the Park Service define as a local resident? One who lives inside the park? One who lives in El Portal, or Midpines, or Mariposa, Oakhurst, or Groveland?

And what about park visitors who enter Yosemite through Hwy 140? I hope they find a new operator for the service station before the heavy snows arrive. It's a pretty far drive to the next gas station on Hwy 140.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 06, 2011 06:48AM
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plawrence


And what about park visitors who enter Yosemite through Hwy 140? I hope they find a new operator for the service station before the heavy snows arrive. It's a pretty far drive to the next gas station on Hwy 140.
The country store in Midpines has gas, not too far to drive.
And within reason, the price in Mid Pines won't be any higher than El Portal.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 06, 2011 10:23AM
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hotrod4x5
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plawrence

And what about park visitors who enter Yosemite through Hwy 140? I hope they find a new operator for the service station before the heavy snows arrive. It's a pretty far drive to the next gas station on Hwy 140.

The country store in Midpines has gas, not too far to drive.


It's 22 additional miles, and up an extended steep grade after Briceburg – not too comforting if one is low on gas.

(If it was 22 more miles that were all downhill, then it would be a bit less of a problem. wink )


avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 05:28PM
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Dave
It looks like the El Portal gas station lost it's contract. It's closed.


It's the Baby Beak Word Police reporting you for possessive contraction unification:





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2011 05:53PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 06:36PM
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szalkowski
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Dave
It looks like the El Portal gas station lost it's contract. It's closed.
the Baby Beak Word Police reporting you for possessive contraction unification]
I blame the spell checker. It should have known what I meant.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 01, 2011 08:28PM
How much does DNC pay to the NPS each year?
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 02, 2011 12:11PM
I found this on the web just now. It has some interesting information about DNC and their being in Yosemite. It is long but worth the read.

http://www.thecityedition.com/Pages/Archive/2010/Yosemite_Trekker/Yosemite_Contract_Print.html
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 02, 2011 12:48PM
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parklover
I found this on the web just now. It has some interesting information about DNC and their being in Yosemite. It is long but worth the read.

http://www.thecityedition.com/Pages/Archive/2010/Yosemite_Trekker/Yosemite_Contract_Print.html


By Republican standards, an honest businessman who can best provide his company's services by not being hampered by regulation or oversight.
Thanks Parklover . . .AFTER a good strong cup of coffee I will wade my way through the article . . .again!
I've always loved the pizza at the Curry Village Pizza Deck. My only complaint (not really) are the long lines. The pizza really is great though.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 04, 2011 05:38PM
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chicagocwright
I've always loved the pizza at the Curry Village Pizza Deck. My only complaint (not really) are the long lines. The pizza really is great though.

I didn't think it was too bad. When I got back from my backcountry excursion back in 2007, the first thing I did was take a shower. The second thing I did was head for Curry Village for an anchovy pizza. It wasn't superb pizza by my standards, but it was more than acceptable. I thought it was equivalent to the regular thin crust pizza at Round Table. The 20 oz Sierra Nevada pale ale might have had something to do with it.

That being said, I've had better pizza at many places. I thought Degnan's Loft was pretty good.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 04, 2011 09:00PM
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chicagocwright
I've always loved the pizza at the Curry Village Pizza Deck. My only complaint (not really) are the long lines. The pizza really is great though.

After eating pizza in Chicago you can say Curry's is good? I'm stunned.
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eeek
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chicagocwright
I've always loved the pizza at the Curry Village Pizza Deck. My only complaint (not really) are the long lines. The pizza really is great though.

After eating pizza in Chicago you can say Curry's is good? I'm stunned.

Well Chicago pizza is great. And no Curry is no Chicago. But maybe living in Chicago makes me qualified to say Curry Village pizza is more than adequate? It really is good pizza.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2011 09:22PM by chicagocwright.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 05, 2011 12:41AM
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chicagocwright
It really is good pizza.

I really don't agree.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 05, 2011 04:59AM
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eeek
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chicagocwright
I've always loved the pizza at the Curry Village Pizza Deck. My only complaint (not really) are the long lines. The pizza really is great though.

After eating pizza in Chicago you can say Curry's is good? I'm stunned.




Chicago:




Location: 38 Baldwin Street, Saint Helens, U.K.
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Chicago,+Baldwin+Street,+Saint+Helens,+UK&hl=en&ll=53.454969,-2.739083&spn=0.001594,0.005397&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=34.724817,54.931641&vpsrc=6&hq=Chicago,&hnear=Baldwin+St,+St+Helens+WA10+2,+United+Kingdom&t=m&fll=53.454851,-2.740027&fspn=0.001594,0.005397&z=18
(Note that "The Spicy Chicken" is nearby.)

Nothing like English food (THERE'S an oxymoron for you) to destroy one's taste.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2011 05:20AM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 05, 2011 06:33PM






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2011 06:33PM by eeek.
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 12, 2011 03:07PM
Had pizza for lunch Sunday at the Loft and it was still good.
The pizza there has always been good but DNC and a continuing concession does not make for better working conditions and/or morale.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 12, 2011 06:45PM
Quote
yosemitedawn
The pizza there has always been good but DNC and a continuing concession does not make for better working conditions and/or morale.


What DNC really stands for:
Does Not Care
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 12, 2011 10:03PM
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szalkowski
Quote
yosemitedawn
The pizza there has always been good but DNC and a continuing concession does not make for better working conditions and/or morale.


What DNC really stands for:
Does Not Care

It's not Don't No [sic] Crap about pizza?
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 12, 2011 10:25PM
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yosemitedawn
The pizza there has always been good but DNC and a continuing concession does not make for better working conditions and/or morale.

I couldn't agree with you more. We have noticed a big change since they took over and from our experiences of the past few years, it is getting worse. Workers are unhappy, guests are unhappy and nothing improves no matter how many letters people write. I have even written the Superintendents and that does not help. I have not tried writing Neubacher yet because I am starting to wonder how much influence the Superintendents have on concessionaire choices and if it is worth my time.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 13, 2011 07:46AM
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parklover
Quote
yosemitedawn
The pizza there has always been good but DNC and a continuing concession does not make for better working conditions and/or morale.

I couldn't agree with you more. We have noticed a big change since they took over and from our experiences of the past few years, it is getting worse. Workers are unhappy, guests are unhappy and nothing improves no matter how many letters people write. I have even written the Superintendents and that does not help. I have not tried writing Neubacher yet because I am starting to wonder how much influence the Superintendents have on concessionaire choices and if it is worth my time.

If you get less than decent food or service ask for your money back. That will get some attention.



Old Dude
Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 13, 2011 09:39AM
Quote
mrcondron
Quote
parklover
Quote
yosemitedawn
The pizza there has always been good but DNC and a continuing concession does not make for better working conditions and/or morale.

I couldn't agree with you more. We have noticed a big change since they took over and from our experiences of the past few years, it is getting worse. Workers are unhappy, guests are unhappy and nothing improves no matter how many letters people write. I have even written the Superintendents and that does not help. I have not tried writing Neubacher yet because I am starting to wonder how much influence the Superintendents have on concessionaire choices and if it is worth my time.

If you get less than decent food or service ask for your money back. That will get some attention.

Been there, done that. Never got any money back but depending on where you are eating and your server, you can get a replacement. Once we were at the loft, they really messed up our order so they gave us an extra pizza. Never have had an issue with the food at the Mountain Room but have at the Ahwahnee and they fixed the food and gave us a free desert. Even at the Ahwahnee you can not count on anything being done. Once on one of our rare stays, we got room service and it took over 2 hours to get things straightened out and we did not even get an apology. If any thing is wrong at the Lodge Cafeteria or anywhere in Curry, good luck. If you get a good server they will fix things without the manager having to get involved. However, that could be an issue because if upper management is not aware that there are problems nothing will be fixed. I can say that there have been times when employees have gone out of their way to fix things but that was because they are good employees but I have found that some of the management make you feel that you are unreasonable when you bring complaints to them.

You have to wonder if part of the reason that things have not improved is that Yosemite has a captive audience. Unless you camp or are a day user, you have to put up with the lodging and if you do not picnic or camp, you eat in their restaurants. Most visitors are not repeat visitor so if they are not happy then who cares, there will always be another person coming.

I guess that I am coming from the position that we travel a lot and know that it does not have to be this way. I never had an issue before DNC took over and have found that things have been getting worse. Also, we have had very few issues when we have stayed at places run by other concessionaire companies. Just to make it clear, I am not a picky traveler who expects a 5 star experience in a National Park, however I do expect my room to be clean and in good repair and my food to be edible especially at the prices they charge. It is interesting that I enjoyed my stay last year in one of the Pioneer cabins in Yellowstone which has not been updated in decades and had the water heater right next to the bed and a metal shower stall that I could barely fit in because it was clean and surprisingly in good condition, better than my last stay in the Ahwahnee with the dead rat ( animals get into rooms and that is understandable but the one in the trap was desiccated and had been there for a very long time) under the bed, the floors and furniture dirty from the last visitor and the superior attitude that I got from the front desk. Hopefully, the Ahwahnee experience will improve since they have a new manager. I had met him when he was an assistant many years ago and know he does everything possible to make a visitor's stay enjoyable. However, unless we win the lotto, I am never going to find out since there is no way I can afford their prices.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 13, 2011 10:23AM
I have already posted about my last overnight stay at the Ahwahnee. It's just simply unbelievable how bad the service and operations are over there considering the prices they charge. Of the four lodging establishments in the Valley (the Ahwahnee, the Lodge, Curry Village, and Housekeeping), I've consistently have gotten the best service (with the best attitude) from the staff at the Lodge (followed by Housekeeping).

Curry Village staff used to be the worse, but in recent years their level of performance and attitude have noticeably improved. The overall attitude of the staff at the Ahwahnee always seems to be that us guest are privileged and lucky just to be able to stay there, and we should accept what the staff gives us without complaint – a totally arrogant attitude.


Re: Yosemite National Park Continues Concession Contract for Visitor Services
October 13, 2011 11:48AM
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plawrence
I have already posted about my last overnight stay at the Ahwahnee. It's just simply unbelievable how bad the service and operations are over there considering the prices they charge. Of the four lodging establishments in the Valley (the Ahwahnee, the Lodge, Curry Village, and Housekeeping), I've consistently have gotten the best service (with the best attitude) from the staff at the Lodge (followed by Housekeeping).

Curry Village staff used to be the worse, but in recent years their level of performance and attitude have noticeably improved. The overall attitude of the staff at the Ahwahnee always seems to be that us guest are privileged and lucky just to be able to stay there, and we should accept what the staff gives us without complaint – a totally arrogant attitude.



Plawrence, I agree with you. I have never stayed in Housekeeping but have stayed at the other places and you are very correct. We stay at the Lodge the most and many of the long term workers recognize us. When we have had problems they have been resolved as quickly as possible. On our trip in December when we all got food poisoning, the housekeeper was very sympathetic and never complained when she had to change our son's bed several times and kept bringing us clean towel. Since everything had closed at the Lodge, she even offered to go to the big store and get us jello. We don't stay in Curry very often but our stays there went well. If you go by percentages, we have had the more issues at the Ahwahnee since DNC took over than all of the other places combined. Before that, we never had a problem but our last few stays have not gone well at all. In fact, the only recent stay that went well was when we were comped a weekend because of a previous disaster stay and the assistant manager checked in twice a day to see if our stay was going well. The two times after that did not go well. Even if we could now afford to stay there, I am not sure if I would after how we were treated the last time. It used to be a fantastic place to stay for special occasions. I really don't understand their attitude considering that they are a four star hotel. Their customer service is not up to that rating.
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