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Facelift for Mount Rushmore Dining Room

1/6/2006
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KEYSTONE, S.D. – The food service and merchandise concessioner at Mount Rushmore National Memorial has begun an extensive remodeling of the dining facilities at the Memorial. On January 1, 2005, Xanterra Parks & Resorts was awarded a 10 year contract by the National Park Service to operate the dining room and gift shop at the Memorial. Under the new contract, the concessioner is required to make substantial improvements in the food services operation. “Companies competing for the contract had to submit proposals for improving the dining experience at Mount Rushmore,” said Superintendent Gerard Baker. “What that means to the public is shorter lines and more variety,” said Baker. The original layout was a traditional cafeteria-style arrangement where visitors would get their food in a single file line. That limited the menu selection as well as the number of people who could be served at one time. That made for long lines during the peak summer months, when daily visitation often exceeds 20 thousand people per day. The new design is a “scatter system” that will work more like a food court in a shopping mall. “The changes will enable us to offer a wider selection of foods with considerably shorter lines,” said Russ Jobman, General Manger for Xanterra at Mount Rushmore. Xanterra’s proposal included similar improvements for the ice cream and fudge area. “You’ll still be able to get our popular ‘monumental scoop,’” said Jobman, “but you’ll be able to satisfy your ice cream or fudge cravings much faster”. Remodeling of the dining room and food service area is scheduled for completion no later than April 1, 2006. During that time, a reduced menu will be offered. Work on the fudge and ice cream area will begin once the main dining room is open to the public with an anticipated completion date of June 1. For further information about this project, people may call Russ Jobman, General Manager for Xanterra Park & Resorts at Mount Rushmore (605) 574-2515.