In response to Glitter's reply:
The following news release was issued by Xanterra Parks & Resorts Tuesday, September 16, 2003. For National Park Service/Grand Canyon National Park questions please contact Dawn O'Sickey, Public Affairs Specialist, at (928) 638-7779. For Xanterra questions, please see below.
Mule Trips at South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park Suspended for Trail Maintenance
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - September 16, 2003 - Xanterra Parks & Resorts, operator of lodges, restaurants and activities at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, is suspending both day and overnight mule trips while the National Park Service and Xanterra perform maintenance on the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails.
Xanterra's visitor mule rides will close beginning September 22, and mule operations will remain suspended until further notice. The National Park Service has advised Xanterra that maintenance work will take at least six months to complete.
"We cannot predict an exact reopening date for mule operations until the trail workers get in there and determine just how much change to the landscape the forces of erosion have made," said Bill Johnston, Xanterra's general manager of South Rim operations. "Fortunately, the National Park Service here at the Grand Canyon has recently received the funding necessary to do this job."
Xanterra is now contacting its guests who have reservations for day trips to Plateau Point or overnight trips to Phantom Ranch on the floor of the canyon. The company will also not accept any new reservations for mule rides until the trail work is completed. Reservations for mule rides are typically accepted up to 23 months in advance. Both trails will remain open and unrestricted for hikers and private stock users. Mule operations on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon will continue as scheduled.
Johnston added that Phantom Ranch will remain open and provide overnight accommodations for hikers. While the trail work is being performed, Xanterra will conduct maintenance operations of its own with updates to cabins and restrooms at Phantom Ranch. "Even though we will be working on some of the cabins, more beds will be available for hikers because of the mule rides being on hiatus," he said.
Xanterra's other operations on the South Rim will not be affected. On the South Rim, Xanterra operates six hotel properties, 10 restaurants and 11 retail shops as well as motorcoach tours. For advance reservations or questions about existing reservations, visitors can call 888-297-2757 or 303-297-2757.