BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Delaware North Cos. Inc. has been awarded a long-term contract by the National Park Service to take over the concessions operations at the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
DNC Parks and Resorts at Shenandoah Inc., a Delaware North affiliate, will begin operations at the historic park - located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains - on Jan. 1. DNC Parks and Resorts at Shenandoah Inc. was awarded a 10-year pact for the operations. Terms were not disclosed.
Buffalo-based Delaware North is taking over from Aramark Parks and Destinations, who had handling Shenandoah's concessions and other operations since 1972. This marks the second time in recent months that Delaware North has landed a major parks and destination deal from Aramark. It earlier won the contract to operate the Kalaloch Lodge in the state of Washington's Olympic National Park.
Delaware North will run the park's lodging services, retail shops, food and beverage operations and other commercial services. That deal includes operating the Skyland Resort, Lewis Mountain Cabins and Big Meadows Lodge.
Delaware North is expected to made several upgrades to both resorts and will also remove two fueling stations while upgrading the menu offerings to include fresher and healthier foods.
Shenandoah National Park attracted more than 1.2 million visitors in 2010 and those visitors spent more than $70 million on everything from food and gifts to lodging.
According to the National Parks Service website, Aramark last year employed more than 250 at Shenandoah and generated $13.9 million in gross revenues for the company.
Besides serving as a popular destination for hikers and kayakers, Shenandoah also attracts a fair amount of history buffs because of its role in the Civil War when it was a stronghold for Confederate armies.
Shenandoah National Park is approximately 75 miles outside of Washington, D.C.