The National Park Service has selected nine businesses — including several that are owned by local interests — to run scenic floats and guided fishing trips on the Snake River where it flows through Grand Teton National Park.
Successful applicants for the competitive permits were: Barker-Ewing Scenic Tours, Grand Teton Fly Fishing, Snake River Angler (two contracts), Heart 6 Ranch, Triangle X Ranch, Solitude Float Trips, Lost Creek Ranch (two contracts), Grand Fishing Adventures and WorldCast Anglers.
Two companies with existing permits that expire Dec. 31 dropped off: R Lazy S Ranch and Teton Whitewater.
The new permits are valid from January 2020 through December 2029.
The application period was open from March 25 through May 31.
“This prospectus generated a lot of interest among river outfitters,” National Park Service regional commercial services chief Jennifer Parker said in a statement. “Incumbents and new offerors raised the bar on measures to protect resources and provide quality visitor experiences.”
Grand Teton National Park has 27 concession contracts and almost 120 commercial use authorization holders that provide a variety of visitor services in the park, from leading wildlife tours to managing hotels.
The franchise fees that the selected float companies pay the National Park Service were not publicized, but as a policy, concessionaires pay a minimum 3% of the first $250,000 of annual gross receipts and 12% of the remaining gross receipts over $250,000.
In 2017, the last year data was available, fees paid ranged from a low of $700 paid by Heart 6 Ranch to a high of $110,000 paid by Barker-Ewing Scenic Tours, according to the prospectus for the float contracts.
Nearly 40,000 people boarded a raft for a scenic float on the Snake River in 2017. About 2,500 anglers had a seat on a drift boat or raft that year.