NPHA Newsletter April 2012

This Newsletter is available in PDF form here

In this issue:

NPHA’s New Logo

NPS Updates Commercial Services Website

Sale of American-made Products in National Parks

Green Parks Plan Due This Week

NPS Convenes Meeting to Coordinate Centennial Preparations

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NPHA’s New Logo

NPHA recently conducted an online contest for a new logo.  The contest attracted some  100 submissions.  NPHA’s Logo Task Force, headed by Pam Pitts of California Parks Companies and Jim McCaleb of Xanterra, unanimously selected the final design.  The new look features a sequoia pinecone, which is unique among national park related organizations.  The brown and green color scheme is analogous to the National Park Service itself and symbolic of both the forests and our “green” business ethic.  The logo features a new slogan, “Great Experiences in Great Places,” underscoring the visitor focus of concessions operations.  And here it is:

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NPS Updates Commercial Services Website

The National Park Service (NPS) Commercial Services Program has expanded the options under the Concessioner Tools tab on its web page.  The new format helps locate resources and information under topics including: Healthy Foods, NPS Clean Marina Guide, Rate Administration: 2012 Markup Percentages and Safe Boating Checklists.  The website also posts prospectuses and has links to all concessions laws and regulations. View the new Concessioner Tools and Information page here.

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Sale of American-made Products in National Parks

Key NPHA members recently met via conference call to discuss the sale of American-made products in national parks.  The call was prompted by the American Parks, American Products Act, recently introduced by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).  This bill would require all items sold in retail operations in national parks to be produced in the United States.  

Similar concerns have been expressed about sale of internationally produced souvenirs at Smithsonian Institution museums.  The Smithsonian, which receives about 70% of its budget through Congressional appropriations, operates its own stores.  Recent changes include a new portal for producers of American-made items to offer products to all Smithsonian retail outlets and creation of a shop which only sells products made in the United States.  

NPHA members are proud of efforts to feature American-made products at retail stores in national parks and urged NPHA to explain current efforts to NPS, the Congress and the public.  Many concessioners are providing special support to American Indian art and crafts.  To assist in preparing an NPHA statement on this issue, participants agreed to survey major concessioners about percentages of “American-made” items in park stores.  A previous survey was done in cooperation with NPS in 2008.  Unlike the prior survey, the new survey will quantify the percentage of items produced entirely in the U.S. as well as the percentage of items where most of the value was added through U.S. jobs and efforts.  NPHA will also compile and make available to members a source book for American-made items, capitalizing on an existing guide developed by Delaware North.  

Another call on this topic will occur in mid-May.  Possible actions on this issue include:  work with key manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers to expand the availability and competitiveness of American-made products; development of a new path for suppliers of American-made items to reach all NPHA members easily;  multi-company purchases of American-made items to reduce costs; and collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, cooperating associations, stores on military bases and other organizations to support American-made products.

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Green Parks Plan Due This Week

NPS Director Jon Jarvis will release the NPS Green Parks Plan in advance of National Park Week (April 21-29) and Earth Day (April 22).  The plan outlines how the agency will reduce greenhouse gas emissions through changes in park and program operations.  A number of NPHA members have shared initiatives they have underway to complement NPS actions, and some of those efforts are expected to be incorporated in the Director’s news conference at the Lincoln Memorial.  The Green Parks Plan will be posted on the NPHA website later this week – click here to check on the status of the plan.   

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NPS Convenes Meeting to Coordinate Centennial Preparations

NPS Director Jon Jarvis is convening a half-day coordination session on the 2016 Centennial of the agency this week.  Leaders of the agency, NPHA, NPCA, the National Park Foundation and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees are invited.  Sure to be discussed are some exciting plans already under way for 2016 events, as well as  proposals for a campaign to boost awareness of and visitation to national parks.  The group is also likely to discuss an event on August 25, 2012 – four years prior to the 100th anniversary – to review progress on A Call to Action and updates and additions to its action items.  Among NPHA's goals for the meeting are: agreement to develop a shared logo that can be used by concessioners on apparel and more;  agreement on actions to overcome threats to visitor services triggered by declining federal appropriations for construction and maintenance through new opportunities for private investment in visitor infrastructure; and a clear commitment to cooperation and partnership on all action items, including healthy and sustainable food in parks.  This group is expected to continue to meet to support Centennial preparations.  

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