Shenandoah National Park Getting A New Lodging Concessionaire

Lodging operations in Shenandoah National Park, including Big Meadows Lodge, will be handled by DNC Parks and Resorts beginning Jan. 1. Photo by David and Kay Scott.

DNC Parks and Resorts, a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, has been selected by the National Park Service as the new concessionaire for Shenandoah National Park. DNC will operate Shenandoah’s lodging, food and beverage service, gift shops, and other commercial services under a 10-year contract.

The current concessionaire, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, assumed operation of the park’s concessions in 1972 when (as ARA Services) it acquired Virginia Sky-Line Company. Shenandoah lodging includes Big Meadows, Skyland Resort, and Lewis Mountain Cabins.

DNC is expected to assume operations in Shenandoah on January 1, 2013. Earlier this year, DNC won the NPS contract to operate another ARAMARK concession, Kalaloch Lodge in Olympic National Park.

DNC also is the concessionaire for Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park and for commercial services in Yosemite National Park. The Yosemite contract is currently being operated by DNC under a three-year extension.

DNC also has commercial operations in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Canyon National Park, although lodging in those two parks is operated by Xanterra Parks and Resorts. DNC does own some lodging properties outside of Yellowstone.

Comments

Aramark offered some very nice discounts/perks to members of the Shenandoah National Park Association. I wonder if the new group will do the same.

On the topic of national park concessionaires, why is the NPS staff handling all the fallout from the hantavirus outbreak at Yosemite, when maintaining sanitary conditions at Curry Village seems to be DNC's responsibility?

PauletteB - That was my first concern as well! I just renewed my SNPA membership. I hope they don't change many things with the dining and lodging that Aramark had offered.

I'm even more concerned about this change after having checked out reviews of DNC on Trip Advisor site. Most aren't very flattering with respects to prices and cleanliness. Please don't ruin my favorite vacation spot!!

What is more disturbing is that the new contract "for environmental reasons, the new contract will CLOSE the only two gas stations on the drive?! I'm all for the environment, but making people leave the park, drive down the mountain and then drive back up has to be worse for the environment? What are these people thinking?

I agree with you. I hope they do not change the food offerings and atmosphere. We go up there every year . I hope they dont change much and please leave at least one gas station. We should all write letters to the new concessionairs and voice our opinion and also write the super of the park itself.

So what are the environmental reasons for closing the gas stations? It could be that addressing these issues (replacing old, leaking underground storage tanks, etc.) would cost more than the expected profits. Or perhaps not enough gas is sold to justify the overhead to operate the gas stations.

Maybe these people are thinking that all a person needs to do is buy their gas prior to heading up the mountain. For most of us it should be do-able. Skyline Drive is only 105 miles long and should not take a tank of gas to go the entire distance and back with plenty of gas to drive around some if needed. Or maybe we should consider using less gas and creating less polution by hiking along one or more of the many park trails. You really get a much closer look at the fall colors and wonders of nature from a trail than you do through a windshield.

I spoke to Martha Bogle today (SNP Super) and the gas station at Big Meadows will stay. They are removing the Elk Wallow and Loft Mt Gas stations. Also- They are going to renovate the Big Meadows eating areas to face the Meadow and NOT the parking lot. Cool changes coming but for the good. I asked her to pass along suggestions to keep the park as the way it is as much as possible.

Allen, thank you for your updates and efforts. You've been most helpful.