National Parks Service Delivers Notice To Terminate Crater Lake Hospitality Contract

KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore. — Crater Lake Hospitality LLC- a subsidiary of Aramark that operates Crater Lake National Park, has been advised that the National Parks Service (NPS) intends to terminate its contract with Crater Lake Hospitality.

The National Park Service’s Pacific West Regional Director- David Szymanski, said that Aramark’s consistent failures to meet contract requirements led to the decision to terminate the contract with Aramark, the owner of Crater Lake Hospitality. He said in a statement that NPS gave notice to Crater Lake Hospitality that NPS intends to terminate Crater Lake Hospitality’s contract unless Crater Lake Hospitality shows cause as to why NPS should not do so.

The current contract started in 2018 and covers food and beverage services, lodging, retail, boat tours, and other visitor services at the Crater Lake National Park as well as at  Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve.

Szymanski confirmed that termination- although rare, is not a decision they take lightly. The consistent failures to meet contractual requirements led to notice of NPS’s intent to terminate the contract and it was done to protect visitors and park resources. If NPS does terminate the contract, it would coordinate the discontinuation of Crater Lake Hospitality’s operations at the park in an orderly way and work to transition to a short-term contract with an alternative operator to minimize the impact on visitors.

The decision follows several reports of issues at Crater Lake.

Related: What To Do At Crater Lake Oregon


Employees Draw Attention To Contractor Issues At Crater Lake

A lead server at the Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room last summer, Addie Massery, reported last year that she was shocked at the condition of the employee dorm housing when she got there. She has worked seasonally for private concessionaires for the past five years, including at Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rainier National Park, but said that the Crater Lakes dorms were filthy, with mice running around everywhere.

Massey said that while employee housing at parks usually isn’t great, the conditions allowed by Aramark were disgusting, including open garbage cans exposed to wildlife, and regular complaints from customers who have no heat in their rooms at Crater Lake Lodge. She also witnessed a motorized skiff sinking into the pristine Caldera’s lake. She said, “It makes me upset seeing Crater Lake being taken care of so poorly.”


Senator Wyden Highlights Shortfalls Of Contractor At Crater Lake

In December last year, a stern letter was sent to the National Parks Service Director Charles F “Chuck” Sams III about Aramark by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden. He indicated that he was alarmed by the serious failure of Aramark to fulfill its responsibility at the park. He identifies a lack of security to protect employee safety, at least three diesel spills in 2023, and unsatisfactory public health inspections in the lodge restaurant.

The security issues arise from reports of serious assaults and other criminal activity that have occurred in the dorms, with no acceptable security measures implemented to increase security and privacy.

Aramark said that they take the concerns very seriously, and have been working on improvements to our operations at Crater Lake National Park. They were planning additional investments to address other important aspects of their operations. Wyden wrote that Aramark’s failure to perform contractually-required maintenance meant that the condition of park facilities decreased significantly.

The NPS said that it will be working on transitioning to a short-term contract with another operator.

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