Winter Use Contracts Awarded in Yellowstone - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Winter Use Contracts Awarded in Yellowstone

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK -

Yellowstone National Park announced the recipients for new winter tour contracts inside the park, but not everyone won bids to operate over snow vehicles inside the park.

Those that did are already preparing.   

Yellowstone awarded 23 new concession contracts to nine businesses to operate snowcoach and snowmobile tours inside the park during the winter.

These 10 year contracts are a part of the new winter use rules inside Yellowstone National Park.

Under the changes, each contractor is only allowed so many events, groups up to ten snowmobiles or one snowcoach count as an event. 

Contracts were chosen upon five factors: protecting park resources, providing services at reasonable rates, experience, financial capability and the proposed franchise fee return to the federal government.

A franchise fee is when a percentage of a business's revenue goes back to the park.

Business owners, who will operate in the park for the next decade, are already looking to upgrade some of their equipment.

"This year, we will be upgrading at least one of our snowcoaches so it will meet the specs when they come out. It will go above and beyond those specs, so it will be good for a number of years," said Jerry Johnson of Back Country Adventures.

In West Yellowstone, Back Country Adventures, Buffalo Bus Touring Company, Two Top Snowmobile Rental and Yellowstone Winter Guides were selected to operate inside the park, leaving many other businesses to figure out what they will do next winter.

By the 2015-2016 winter season, all snowcoaches in the park must meet the latest emission standards.

Yellowstone's winter season runs from mid-December to mid-March.

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