National Park Service Approves Concessionaire Transfer At Crater Lake National Park

The National Park Service has approved the transfer of the Crater Lake National Park concessions contract to ExplorUS/Rebecca Latson file

The National Park Service, which earlier this year terminated Aramark’s concessions contract at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, has approved the transfer of the contract to ExplorUS.

Under the transfer, ExplorUS will take over providing visitor services under the contract immediately, including:  

  • Lodging at Crater Lake Lodge, The Cabins at Mazama Village, and Mazama Campground    

  • Food and Beverage at Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room, Annie Creek Restaurant, and Rim Village Café    

  • Retail at Rim Village Gift Shop, Annie Creek Gift Shop and Mazama Village Store (including gas pumps)   

  • Lake and Wizard Island Boat Tours 

“We look forward to working with ExplorUS as they invest in facilities, staff training, visitor services, and other improvements to make visitors’ and employees’ experiences at Crater Lake even better,” Crater Lake Superintendent Craig Ackerman said.  

The Park Service announced in February that it was terminating Crater Lake Hospitality’s contract because of the company’s failure to live up to terms of the agreement. 

Back in December the situation at Crater Lake was raised by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, who told Park Service Director Chuck Sams in a letter that the “annual concessionaire assessments paint a troubling picture of the concessionaire’s fulfillment of its important responsibilities at Crater Lake National Park over several years. The National Park Service records make it clear that the concessionaire has continually failed to fulfill the requirements of the contract.”

Wyden told Sams that he sent staff to Crater Lake to assess conditions there and that the “issues that staff observed during this visit have only served to solidify my understanding of the seriousness of the concessionaire’s failure to plan for and perform important regular maintenance, adequately train staff and address issues that directly threaten safety.”

ExplorUS, based in Overland Park, Kansas, manages concessions at nearly 80 locations nationwide. Among the parks it operates in are Acadia National Park, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, and Mammoth Cave National Park

NPS and ExplorUS are striving for a seamless transition of services but ask for flexibility and patience from park visitors. The majority of visitor services in Crater Lake National Park begin to open for the season in mid-May. Information about services currently available are available on the park website. 

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