Glacier Guides contract extended another 10 years with Park

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Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, a West Glacier-based outdoor guiding and equipment rental company, has been awarded another 10-year contract to lead interpretive day hikes and backcountry guided trips in Glacier National Park. The company currently holds the contract, which was set to expire on the last day of 2018. The National Park Service announced the contract renewal for an additional ten years in a press release sent out this week.

“We’re very excited to have been chosen again by the park service to work with all the park partners and park concessioners,” said Denny Gignoux, one of the owners and managers of the company. “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been given this opportunity.”

The company, which was founded in 1983, offers an array of day hikes and multi-day backcountry trips in Glacier National Park. They also offer raft guiding in various locations and rent outdoor equipment to people visiting the area.

Gignoux said when they interact with tourists, they try to make clear their dedication to good stewardship of the land and to impart their values on the valley’s temporary visitors. That business philosophy was key in cultivating a harmonious relationship with the National Park Service, he said.

“We work hard to talk about the environmental aspects that occur in and around Glacier National Park, issues like development, climate change, the pressures of people and proper lighting,” Gignoux said. “We want to make sure that Glacier National Park can remain the treasure that it is and that the guest can experience that.”

No money changed hands as a result of the contract, as the Park Service exercises its right to dictate which concessioners are allowed to operate in the protected area.

Jennifer Parker, intermountain region chief of concessions with the National Park Service, said they were keen to renew the contract months before it expired to ensure that guests never saw an interruption in services.

According to a document put together by the Park Service to advertise the opportunity to potential bidders, Glacier Guides received $704,854 in gross revenue in 2017, an increase from the $557,931 made in 2014. The document also said that in 2017, the company accommodated 4,632 participants in day hikes and 328 participants in backpacking trips.

Parker said that 10 years was the typical length for a contract of this nature, and they were happy to have the process completed so Glacier Guides could continue their work.

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