and enhance operations for the 11 Yellowstone General Stores
BUFFALO, N.Y., and BOZEMAN, Mont. – Delaware North has been awarded a new 15-year contract by the National Park Service (NPS) to operate retail, food and beverage services at Yellowstone National Park.
Following a competitive bidding process, Delaware North was selected to continue operating the park’s 11 general stores, which the company has done since 2003. The stores, which range in size from 900 to 9,300 square feet, serve millions of guests annually and are spread across the 3,471 square miles of Yellowstone National Park.
At the general stores, Delaware North provides a wide range of retail, food and beverage products to meet the wants and needs of all park visitors, from gifts and art produced by native tribes and specialty foods made by local artisans to Yellowstone-branded merchandise and outdoor gear from well-known brand names. The company also operates popular quick-service and fast-casual dining outlets at nine of the stores.
“We are honored that through its competitive RFP process the National Park Service has selected Delaware North to continue operating the Yellowstone General Stores,” said Scott Socha, group president for Delaware North’s parks and resorts division, which also operates lodging and other visitor services at Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Olympic and Shenandoah national parks.
“For more than 20 years, Delaware North has had the privilege of serving millions of Yellowstone National Park guests each year and worked to accommodate a nearly 50% increase in visitation. We look forward to continuing to enhance our operations and provide stewardship of the historic buildings that house the general stores, while providing everything that all types of travelers to the park need to have incredible and memorable experiences,” Socha said.
With the general stores, Delaware North plans to make historic preservation improvements, renovations and environmental sustainability upgrades to achieve Triple Net Zero status for waste, energy and water usage. The company will also enhance and expand food and beverage services and make improvements to employee housing.
“While filling a basic need to eat, we view our food and beverage operation to be another opportunity to help visitors make meaningful connections to the park,” Socha said. “Our plans will not only enable us to serve more visitors while keeping up with trends but will also showcase the cultural heritage and interpretive themes of the park.”
Delaware North employs more than 500 people at Yellowstone National Park each summer and contributes to the regional economy through purchasing goods and services for the general stores from local purveyors and native tribes. In addition, Delaware North provides funding and other support to organizations and events in the region, including a program through which customers can round up their purchases to the nearest dollar with the balance donated to Yellowstone Forever. That program has raised more than $100,000 since 2019.
The 11 Yellowstone General Stores are Old Faithful General Store, Old Faithful Basin Store, Grant Village General Store, Grant Mini Store, Bridge Bay Marina Store, Lake General Store, Fishing Bridge General Store, Canyon General Store, Canyon Adventure Store, Tower Fall General Store and Mammoth General Store. Delaware North also operates a Net Zero Waste warehouse outside the park to service the general stores.
In the Yellowstone region outside of the park in both West Yellowstone and Gardiner, Mont., Delaware North also owns and operates several hotels, its proprietary Explorer Cabins and summer and winter guided tours – all under Yellowstone Vacations.
The NPS selection of Delaware North for a new Yellowstone General Stores contract comes after the company’s Parks and Resorts division has grown since early 2022 with the opening of its Courtyard by Marriott Titusville – Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the acquisition of Nova Guides and Camp Hale Weddings in Colorado and the Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon in Arizona.