Western Caucus and Chairman Gosar Secure Major Victory for Tourism
Blocks Outrageous Fee Increases that Threatened the Livelihoods of Guides and Outfitters as well Bucket-List Waterwater Rafting Experiences
August 1, 2018
Western Caucus and Chairman Gosar Secure Major Victory for Tourism at the Grand Canyon
WASHINGTON, D.C. â€“ Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the National Park Serviceâ€™s (NPS) decision to cancel solicitation contracts that would have imposed exorbitant fees on guides and outfitters that provide whitewater rafting trips within Grand Canyon National Park and instead decided to extend existing contracts for one year:
Chairman Gosar stated, â€œThreatening the visitor experience and livelihoods of job creators within the Grand Canyon defies common sense. Secretary 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.â€
On August 7, 2018, the National Perk Service Intermountain Region sent prospective concessionaires seeking to provide guided multi-day interpretive whitewater river trips within Grand Canyon National Park a letter informing them that the agency has heard the concerns of concessionaires and the Western Caucus and decided to cancel solicitation contracts that would have imposed exorbitant fees on guides and outfitters that provide whitewater rafting trips within Grand Canyon National Park. Instead of implementing this misguided proposal, the agency extended "the existing contracts for one year through December 31, 2019 in order to avoid an interruption of visitor services."
Multiple vendors that have contracts with NPS stated that the proposed increases in franchise fees would jeopardize their business and employment opportunities.
In April, 20 members of the Congressional Western Caucus sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and NPS Acting Director Paul Daniel Smith outlining their concerns about the NPS' prospectus and the consequences this would have on whitewater rafting and the visitor experience in Grand Canyon National Park.
Signers of the April letter include (20): Rob Bishop*, Paul Gosar*, Tom Oâ€™Halleran*, Brian Babin, Andy Biggs, Liz Cheney, John Curtis, Greg Gianforte, Garret Graves, Doug LaMalfa, Doug Lamborn, Mia Love, Roger Marshall, Martha McSally, Mark Meadows, Kyrsten Sinema, Chris Stewart, Scott Tipton, Bruce Westerman, Ted Yoho.