Xanterra Manager Thinks Change Up Creates Jobs - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Xanterra Manager Thinks Change Up Creates Jobs

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COLUMBIA FALLS -

Xanterra surprised a lot of people when they managed to swoop in and get the concessioner's contract out from under Glacier Park Inc.

Xanterra Parks and Resorts took over for Glacier Park Inc. on January 15, ending a longstanding relationship between GPI and Glacier National Park.

"I was shocked. I was employed with Glacier Park Inc. for a number of years and so really sort of taken aback. We didn't expect that whatsoever and consequently didn't really have a contingency plan," explained Marc Ducharme, currently the manager of Xanterra's operations in Glacier National Park.

Ducharme has been busy over these last few months. Soon after Xanterra got the concessioner's contract, they started talking to him and eventually hired him to manage their operations in the Park. He's already helped buy two buildings in Columbia Falls, the old Pamida and the Clark building, where they're working to set up office space, a place for commercial laundry, and a warehouse.

Ducharme is trying to get Xanterra established here, making it the newest, major player in the Park.

"Glacier Park Inc. has been a really strong partner with the Conservancy in the past, and we continue to build on that relationship and so I think that we have strength in numbers with Xanterra coming on," said Mark Preiss, the CEO of the Glacier National Park Conservancy.

With two big companies now running, Ducharme thinks this will actually lead to more jobs. He says 600 of the seasonally hired workers will now go to Xanterra rather than GPI. GPI will still hire about 400 workers seasonally. The increase comes in the upper level and permanent positions. Each company has these jobs, meaning two people at each company will do what one person used to do. Ducharme says actually coming up with an exact number for the increase is nearly impossible in these early stages.

"What we've done by fractioning those hotels has actually created some duplicity in jobs in the area, so it's actually had a positive economic impact," said Ducharme.

Xanterra has already signed the paperwork the two buildings in Columbia Falls. Now they're just working on getting it up and running with office supplies, wi-fi, and people.

Next week, Ducharme is leaving for Europe and Asia to look for more hires, but says he wants to make hiring locally a priority.

Xanterra's job postings can be found here.

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