Delaware North, the Buffalo-based company that operates the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks concessions, no longer has the inside track for the multi-million dollar contract to operate hotels, restaurants, and other visitor amenities in Yosemite National Park. The National Park Service announced on Wednesday, June 17, that the new 15-year contract is being offered to Aramark.
Aramark, based in Philadelphia, has 30 days to accept the NPS offer. In order to operate the contract, Aramark must compensate Delaware North for the cost of its assets that include the use of the park’s iconic names, Ahwahnee and Wawona.
According to published sources, the NPS agrees that intellectual property and trade names could be worth something but not the millions that Delaware North is asking. The principal point of dispute is how much the intangible assets of Yosemite, the most visited park in California, are worth.
Delaware North has operated in Yosemite for 22 years. The concessions earn between $120 and $130 million annually and employ 1,800 full and part-time employees in the summer and 1,200 in the winter.
The contract is the most valuable annual concessions deal in the National Park System.