Written by The Business Journal Staff
Delaware North has won a new 10-year contract with the National Parks Service to operate the concession services at Sequoia National Park. The company has held the contract since 1997.
The contract includes the 102-room Wuksachi Lodge, its Peaks Restaurant in Wuksachi Village as well as food and beverage, retail and other services at Lodgepole Village and the seasonal Bearpaw High Sierra Camp.
Under the new concession contract for Sequoia National Park, the concessionaire will build an outdoor dining deck at Wuksachi Lodge as well as remodel food service facilities at Lodgepole. The new concession contract at Sequoia National Park will take effect on Nov. 1.
Delaware North also has a contract to operate visitor services in Sequoia’s sister park of Kings Canyon, which was secured in 2013. Workers are beginning construction of a new restaurant in Grant Grove this summer. The $6.6 million Grant Grove Restaurant replacement, due to open in 2017, will see a new 8,000-square-foot Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold-certified structure built using sustainable materials and construction techniques. This follows an investment in major renovations to the John Muir Lodge and Grant Grove cabins last year as well as the Cedar Grove Lodge in Kings Canyon.
The old eatery had the feel of a 1970s coffee shop complete with lunch counter. Now it will be replaced with a 21st century look.
“The renovation of Grant Grove Restaurant has been a central part of our vision for enhancing the overall visitor experience,” said John Motley, hotel operations manager for Delaware North at Kings Canyon National Park. “The new facility will raise the Grant Grove dining experience to match today’s visitor expectations.”
The inside seating capacity will be increased to 108, with outdoor deck seating for 48, and a large courtyard area with picnic tables that will seat about 75 people.
A fireplace, large windows, vaulted ceilings and efficient layout will greet visitors inside, and a large modern kitchen will serve behind the scenes. For those in a rush or wanting to maximize their outdoor time, a walk-up service window on the exterior will enable visitors to purchase to-go items such as pizza, sandwiches, coffee and — of course — ice cream.