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New GNP Concessionaire Making Changes


It is not quite official yet, but Xanterra, the new concessionaire in Glacier National Park, is already making changes.

In August, Xanterra shocked many people by beating out Glacier Park Inc for the sixteen-year service contract with Glacier National Park.

"Xanterra brings some great history and experience from other national parks so we look forward to working with them at Glacier National Park," said Denise Germann, the Park's spokeswoman.

Already, Xanterra is ramping up for the tourist season.

The Colorado-based company is looking to not only buy some office and laundry space that has been vacant for almost two years near the Montana Coffee Traders in Columbia Falls, but it also hopes to build a warehouse to store the fleet of 33 red buses.

GPI used to keep the buses in a building over in East Glacier.

Right now, they are sitting in a warehouse in Glacier Park International Airport.

"It is a pretty big deal... We're always very happy to have new businesses relocate and again to see all the hubbub, you will. You know in the summertime tourism is huge," said Carol Pike, the executive director of the Columbia Falls chamber of commerce.

These new purchases could mean adding more than 30 full-time jobs in Columbia Falls.

The only snag is signing the contract.

Xanterra has already put pen to paper, but is waiting to get the okay from a federal agency.

It was supposed to be all clear by the first of the year, but that went out the window with the sixteen-day government shutdown.

Germann thinks it will happen sometime in the next few weeks.

Xanterra currently works in Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and several other national and state parks.

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