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The El Tovar Hotel is one of the oldest properties at Grand Canyon that has been operated by Xanterra and its predecessor companies since 1905
<p>The El Tovar Hotel is one of the oldest properties at Grand Canyon that has been operated by Xanterra and its predecessor companies since 1905.</p>

Xanterra lands Grand Canyon deal extension

New contract with National Park Service extends relationship that began in 1905.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts through affiliate Xanterra South Rim L.L.C. has been awarded a new 15-year contract to continue operating the primary concessions at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

The contract extension continues a relationship dating back to 1905 when the Fred Harvey Co. began operating concessions in Grand Canyon Village, including El Tovar Hotel and Hopi House, before the Grand Canyon was designated a national park. Xanterra inherited the Grand Canyon relationship when it acquired Fred Harvey successor company TW Recreational Services 20 years ago.

“We are delighted to continue operating visitor facilities and services at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and look forward to working with the National Park Service to provide legendary and sustainable hospitality to the travelers who visit the Grand Canyon,” said Xanterra President/CEO Andrew N. Todd in a statement accompanying the announcement. “This contract includes some exciting developments within the park, and we are eager to get started.”

In addition to El Tovar and Hopi House, the contract calls for the continued operation of overnight accommodations in Bright Angel Lodge, Kachina Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge, Maswik Lodge and Phantom Ranch as well as restaurants, gift stores, transportation and activities such as rides on the Grand Canyon’s famous mules.

A major project includes the redevelopment of the “South” complex of Maswik Lodge. Currently comprised of motel-style rooms in six two-story buildings accessed from outside walkways and stairwells, the building will be replaced by a new LEED Gold lodge building featuring 120 rooms and a quick service restaurant.

Xanterra and its predecessor the Fred Harvey Company have operated concessions at the Grand Canyon for 110 years, first in partnership with the Santa Fe Railway and later under a series of contracts with the National Park Service after Grand Canyon National Park was created in 1919. More than 300 structures accounting for much of the infrastructure in the historic Grand Canyon Village were developed by the Fred Harvey Company.

Xanterra also operates Grand Canyon Railway as well as The Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz. outside the park. The railroad makes daily round trip runs between Williams, Ariz. and Grand Canyon Village. The Grand Hotel is located just minutes from the park.

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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