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Yellowstone National Park Lodging Rates Climbing Under Pilot Program | National Parks Traveler

“We will offer lower rates and/or be closed depending on the location,” said Ms. O’Rourke.

If price is not an issue for your Yellowstone stay, market-based rooms (and so, higher rates) are at the Old Faithful Inn, Canyon Lodge, and Lake Hotel. Rooms based on out-of-park comparables can be found at Roosevelt Lodge, Old Faithful Lodge, Old Faithful Snow Lodge, Mammoth Hotel, Lake Lodge, and Grant Village.

“There are many different lodging options at a wide range of prices throughout the park and people choose what’s best for them in location and price,” said the Xanterra marketing officer.

While there have been reports that the higher rates were being permitted to offset cost overruns Xanterra incurred with building new lodging at Canyon, both the concessionaire and park officials said that was not true.

Allowing concessionaires to charge more for the services they provide in parks long has been called for by the National Park Hospitality Association, which lobbies on behalf of concessionaires. The organization sees it as one way to provide more revenues, via concession fees, to the Park Service to help reduce the agency’s maintenance backlog.

“The visitor services we provide in national parks are often inhibited by NPS policies which limit visitor experiences and reduce our payments, called franchise fees, to the agency,” Derrick Crandall, counselor to the National Park Hospitality Association, told a congressional subcommittee three years ago. “We are confident that increases in visitor services, including lengthening operating hours at units like Alcatraz and Statue of Liberty, adding appropriate services and allowing dynamic pricing of services, could increase franchise fees to the NPS by 50 percent within three years.”

What the public will bear remains to be seen. An attempt by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to implement surge pricing for entrance fees to 17 national parks to generate more funds to combat the maintenance backlog across the country was dropped after immense public and political opposition.

Going forward, Yellowstone officials plan to monitor the public response to the what-the-market-will-bear pricing for lodging.

“The park always considers the impact prices have on visitors and ways to improve visitor experiences and efficiency of operations in Yellowstone,” said Ms. Warthin. “That’s why this pilot allows certain lodging rooms to be designated as core and others as non-core rooms. This is also a pilot and will be evaluated throughout its planned five-year term. We are collecting feedback on the rate method pilot and will be evaluating the pilot based on that feedback.”

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Yellowstone National Park Lodging Rates Climbing Under Pilot Program.