June 20, 2013
Letter Calls on Jewell to Solve Contract Issue, Keep Glacier Bay Lodge Open
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, joined together in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to call upon her expertise and experience in the tourism industry to find a solution to the concessioner contract situation that is threatening to shut down Glacier Bay Lodge and the accompanying Day Boat Tour operation.
“Both the Lodge and Day Boat Tour are integral to the Gustavus economy,” Murkowski and Young wrote. “What troubles us is that NPS knows what the problem is – the contract proposal is not viable for private sector concessioners. Certainly, attracting zero bids should be an obvious enough statement.”
The National Park Service’s (NPS) currently has a concession contract with Aramark Sports and Entertainment Service, Inc. and Huna Concession, LLC in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The contract is set to expire at the end of the year, yet the NPS’s prospectus concession contract was unsuccessful in attaining any bids when submitted earlier this year.
“Doing nothing is unacceptable,” Murkowski and Young wrote. “The consequences for NPS’s inaction would be dire for the entire community of Gustavus and Southeast Alaska as a whole.”
Murkowski and Young also pointed out that harm to Alaska’s tourism industry is becoming a pattern, as Ketchikan is facing a similar situation concerning reductions in air taxi permits to Misty Fjords National Monument.
In the letter, Murkowski and Young also encouraged Secretary Jewell to join them on a visit to Gustavus and Glacier Bay during Jewell’s next trip to Alaska.
The full letter is attached.