Xanterra Parks & Resorts and the National Park Service (NPS) have agreed on the dismissal of Xanterra's lawsuit charging that an RFP for new 15-year contract for services at the Grand Canyon's South Rim would give an unfair advantage to a competitor. The two parties had earlier agreed on a temporary one-year contract extension for Xanterra to continue operating at the South Rim through 2015.
Earlier, Xanterra had initiated application procedures to trademark the names of iconic park facilities covered by its expiring South Rim contract, a move similar to one made by fellow parks concessionaire Delaware North at Yosemite National Park. In that instance, Delaware North is claiming ownership of Yosemite based property names such as the Ahwahnee Hotel, Wawona Hotel, Badger Pass and Curry Village, a claim NPS disputes. Delaware North is claiming the right to be paid $51 million for use of those names by any other concessionaire that takes over the contract when it expires at the end of this year.
Xanterra is applying for trademark rights to such Grand Canyon property names as Phantom Ranch, Bright Angel Lodge and Desert View Watchtower. The applications are pending before the U.S. Patent Office.
National park contracts are highly lucrative and stable sources of business as the deals tend to be in place for extended periods, such as the 15-year term of the proposed Grand Canyon South Rim RFP. Meanwhile, bid documents filed by NPS indicate that the Yosemite contract, which Delaware North holds through 2015, generated average annual revenues of $131.5 million in the past three years and is expected to generate as much as $146.6 million in the first year of the new contract in 2016.