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Delaware North Companies operates concessions at Shenandoah, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone national parks, among others.
The Roanoke Times | File 2012
The new operators of the Peaks of Otter Lodge, at milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, have not set an opening date.
Friday, April 19, 2013
A company that operates concessions at Shenandoah National Park and at flagship national parks that include the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone has been awarded a contract to manage the Peaks of Otter Lodge and Restaurant and retail stores along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Bedford County.
Monika Mayr, Blue Ridge Parkway acting superintendent, announced Friday that Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts, part of Delaware North Companies, will be issued a 10-year contract to manage the facilities at Peaks of Otter.
Delaware North Companies is a privately held, international company headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y.
A National Park Service statement reported that the “Parkway is optimistic that the lodge will reopen early this summer.” And it said Parkway management was encouraging Delaware North “to reach out to employees and the community and introduce themselves and their plans as soon as possible.”
The lodge, at milepost 86 on the parkway, has been closed since Thanksgiving, when the previous management company, Virginia Peaks of Otter Co., opted not to renew its concessions contract with the National Park Service. The lodge and restaurant, built in 1964, had been open year-round since 1977. Three lodge buildings house a total of 63 rooms.
Laura Nelson, a concessions management specialist with the National Park Service, said the contract with Delaware North defines a “minimum operating season” for the Peaks of Otter facilities of May 1 to Oct. 31. She said the company can opt to stay open all year.
Nelson said Delaware North agreed to pay more than the minimum requirement of 4.5 percent of gross revenues to the National Park Service but said she could not specify the negotiated amount.
According to its website, Delaware North Companies currently operates in food service, retail, gaming, hospitality, travel and sports industries in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The company could not be reached for comment Friday.
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