National Park Service blocks fees for Grand Canyon outfitters

The National Park Service has extended contracts with Grand Canyon rafting companies that would avoid exorbitant fees, according to Congressional Western Caucus. (Photo by Paxson Woelber, CC 2.0, https://bit.ly/2nrFVET)

The National Park Service has extended contracts with Grand Canyon rafting companies that would avoid exorbitant fees, according to Congressional Western Caucus. (Photo by Paxson Woelber, CC 2.0, https://bit.ly/2nrFVET)

KINGMAN –The National Park Service has decided to cancel solicitation contracts that would have imposed exorbitant fees on guides and outfitters of rafting guides and outfitters at the Grand Canyon.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, chairman of the Western Causus, said the “outrageous” fee increases threatened the livelihood of Grand Canyon businesses. The National Park Service instead extended existing contracts for a year.

“Threatening the visitor experience and livelihoods of job creators within the Grand Canyon defies common sense,” Gosar said in a prepared statement.

“Secretary (Ryan) Zinke and Acting Director Smith answered our call and came through in a big way for guides, outfitters and tourists that enjoy whitewater rafting. This is a major win for local economies in Northern Arizona that would have been negatively impacted by the exorbitant franchise fees proposed by regional bureaucrats.”

The National Park Service heard the concerns of concessionaires that provide whitewater rafting trips within Grand Canyon National Park, and extended existing contracts for one year through December 31, 2019, to avoid an interruption of visitor services.

Information provided by Congressional Western Caucus