Aramark’s 40-year partnership with Shenandoah National Park ends Dec. 31

Page News and Courier The Shenandoah Valley-Herald The Valley Banner The Warren Sentinel
LURAY — Skyland Resort and Big Meadows Lodge will come under new management on Jan. 1, 2013, when a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies of Buffalo, N.Y., will begin a 10-year concession contract with Shenandoah National Park.
Announcement of the new contract award was made on Monday, Oct. 1, on SNP’s website.
The announcement heralds the end of a 40-year partnership between SNP and Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp.
According to Wayne Foard, district manager for Aramark, the 250-plus employees who work at the two resorts “will be offered opportunities to continue working with the new company” during the transition period that ends on Dec. 31, when Aramark’s current 10-year contract expires.
The SNP announcement states that DNC Parks and Resorts at Shenandoah, Inc., a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, “will provide lodging, retail shops, food and beverage, and other commercial services to visitors throughout the park.”
The announcement also states that contract requires “several changes” in existing facilities and services, including:
• Increasing the number of rooms that meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards;
• Removal of two fueling stations to improve environmental safety;
• Fresher, healthier food offerings for visitors.
“DNC will be reaching out to the local community and to current concession employees to ensure a smooth transition into the park,” the announcement stated, noting that the park had 1.2 million visitors in 2010 who spent more than $70 million in the park and in nearby communities.
Delaware North is a hospitality company that already has numerous contracts with other parks in the National Park Service system, including Niagara Falls, Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon national parks.
Speaking of the upcoming transition, David Freireich, a press spokesman for Aramark, said the company is “proud of the services we’ve provided, the dedicated employees who have worked with us and the guest experiences we’ve created for nearly 40 years at Shenandoah National Park.”
During that time, Freireich said, Aramark “delivered world-class experiences” for visitors, “forged strong relationships with the local community and became a trusted member of the local business community.”
He added that Aramark looks forward to “continuing our relationship with the National Park Service at many other national parks across the country.”
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