A New Day: Aramark Begins Concessions Operations at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite's new concessioner working to ensure a smooth transition for guests

Program enhancements and service upgrades on the horizon

Mar 01, 2016, 07:15 ET from Aramark

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Yosemite Hospitality, LLC, a subsidiary of Aramark (NYSE: ARMK), the award-winning food and hospitality partner for national and state parks, is pleased to announce today marks its first day as the new concessioner at Yosemite National Park. Last summer the National Park Service awarded Aramark the 15-year contract to manage Yosemite's hospitality programs encompassing lodging, food & beverage, retail, recreational and transportation services.

"Aramark has a long history with the National Park Service and we are excited to be partnering with them to create great new memories for Yosemite's many enthusiasts who hold the park so near and dear to their hearts," said Bruce W. Fears, President of Aramark's Leisure Division and longtime park industry thought leader. "I also have a deep appreciation for Yosemite and am proud of the tireless effort and commitment our team has undertaken, in conjunction with the National Park Service, to prepare for a smooth opening and transition for guests. As part of our Park stewardship, we look forward to introducing innovative programs and experiences that further shape the legacy of this awe-inspiring and iconic Park."

Today also marks the official debut of www.travelyosemite.com, Yosemite Hospitality's online destination for lodging, activity and tour information for Yosemite National Park. Visitors can also connect with Aramark on Facebook: Facebook.com/TravelYosemite, Instagram: @TravelYosemite, and Twitter: @TravelAramark.

Guest Experience Enhancements
While future plans include upgrading and improving facilities and enhancing existing programming around the Park, Yosemite Hospitality's immediate focus during the transition period is to ensure a seamless transition for guests, assimilate and onboard employees and acclimate new personnel to the Park. 

Early on, the emphasis will be on enhancements to customer service as well as dining service. Later this year, Degnan's Deli and Loft is scheduled to be renovated. Longer term plans include remodeling the food court at Yosemite Valley Lodge and the dining areas at Half Dome Village. The transformation of these locations is designed to modernize their look, improve efficiency and increase speed of service.

Future improvements to guest rooms throughout Yosemite's lodgings, including new in-room amenities, furnishings and accessibility, will also be part of Aramark's overall investment in the guest experience. Technology upgrades and improvements are also on the horizon. Guests will eventually be able to use smart phones for making reservations and placing and paying for orders. Food ordering kiosks will allow visitors to place and pay for orders without having to enter dining facilities until orders are ready.

All of these efforts will enhance the guest experience at Yosemite, allowing visitors to experience the full majesty of Yosemite while also enjoying the comfort, convenience, and service Aramark is known for providing. 

Workforce Transition
Aramark has a long track record of successfully managing concessions within the National Park system, however, the company recognizes the people most responsible for impacting the guest experience are the front line associates.

While the hiring process is ongoing, over 95 percent of the workforce is expected to transition to Aramark. Nearly every one of these employees worked at Yosemite previously, and they join Aramark with invaluable experience.

"Yosemite's front line associates are personally and passionately dedicated to the Park and to the guests who visit. While Aramark may be the new concessioner, I'm pleased that so many of the names and faces of the staff remain the same," said Bob Concienne, Vice President of Operations for Aramark at Yosemite National Park. "I'm excited to welcome them to the Aramark family and look forward to working with them to create a lifetime of memories for Yosemite's visitors."

Guest Reservations
All reservations and group contracts booked prior to March 1, 2016 will be honored.  Shortly, Aramark's Central Reservations team will begin contacting guests to confirm existing reservations within the Park for future dates.  To make, change or update a reservation, guests may call 888-413-8869 or visit www.travelyosemite.com for additional information.

Environmental Stewardship
Environmental sustainability is a fundamental part of Aramark's mission, with a strategic focus on reducing the company's environmental impact through innovative solutions that promote responsible sourcing, waste minimization, energy and water conservation, and transportation efficiencies.

As part of Aramark's stewardship of Yosemite, steps are being taken to reduce the company's impact on the Yosemite Valley. One of the more noticeable changes guests will encounter is the removal of plastic bottled water for sale on store shelves and within dining areas. In its place, Aramark has committed to installing and increasing accessibility to filtered water dispensers and bottle filling stations; boxed and canned water, benefiting "Canned Water 4 Kids1" and which is easier and less labor intensive to recycle, are also being introduced.

Yosemite Hospitality will further reduce its carbon footprint in the Park by maximizing operational efficiency, including reducing service vehicle traffic, installing a visitor vehicle charging station and minimizing food waste. Learn more about Aramark's Leisure Division's environmental practices and programs here.

Community Partnerships
Aramark's community involvement and philanthropic efforts leverage the unique skills and expertise of its employees who have a passion for service and volunteerism and contribute their time, expertise and resources through Aramark Building Community which is focused on fostering strong, vibrant, successful communities in local neighborhoods.  

At Yosemite, Aramark looks forward to establishing a meaningful community presence and positively impacting the community by partnering with local organizations, working with business leaders and participating in community-wide projects. Aramark is also excited to be working with and supporting Yosemite Conservancy and Yosemite's Gateway Partners.

About Aramark's Leisure Division
Aramark's Leisure division delivers authentic and memorable experiences at 60 national and state parks, national forests, conference centers, specialty hotels, museums and other tourist destinations throughout the United States. In partnership with its clients, Aramark seeks to enhance the guest experience by offering industry-leading hospitality, environmental stewardship, recreational and interpretive programs. Connect with us on Twitter at @TravelAramark.

In 2015, Aramark hosted more than 22 million visitors at more than 15 national, state and local parks it serves. With today's announcement, Aramark now holds nine contracts with the NPS, including Denali National Park & Preserve and Glacier Bay Park & Preserve, Mesa Verde National Park, Olympic National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

As a longtime supporter of the NPS and America's national parks, Aramark is proud to be a sponsor of the National Park Foundation's Centennial Campaign, celebrating the National Park Service's 100th anniversary, this year. The sponsorship will help reintroduce the national parks and the work of the National Park Service to a new generation of Americans, inviting them to visit and get involved. For more information about the National Park Service's Centennial, visit www.nationalparks.org/centennial.

About Aramark
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) delivers experiences that enrich and nourish people's lives through innovative services in food, facilities management, and uniforms. United by a passion to serve, our 270,000 employees make a meaningful difference each day for millions of people in 21 countries around the world. Aramark is recognized as one of the World's Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE, rated number one among Diversified Outsourcing Companies, as well as among the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter

David Freireich

Erin Noss

1 All profits to Canned Water for Kids will go for providing increased access to clean water in developing countries and emergency situations within the United States.

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Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131212/PH32713LOGO

SOURCE Aramark