Vol. 42 (2019)
Research Project Cultural Resources and Human Dimensions

Factors influencing perceived appropriateness of concessioner activity in Grand Teton

Nicholas Pitas
Department of Recreation & Leisure Studies, The College at Brockport - SUNY, Brockport, NY
Park rangers and visitors wearing masks talking on the porch of a building marked, "Jenny Lake Visitor Center"

Published 2019-12-15


Concessioner provided services are integral to the national park visitor experience, and with visitation across NPS units growing steadily, services provided by these public-private-partnerships will likely only increase in importance. Despite this, concerns exist regarding the presence of for-profit entities within national parks. While private businesses may be more responsive to consumers, their presence raises questions regarding equity, access, and perceptions of ownership. The purpose of this study was to assess factors that may influence visitor’s perceptions of appropriateness regarding (a) current and (b) future concessioner activities within Grand Teton National park (GTNP). Regression analyses indicate the importance of personal values, rather than actual experiences (positive or negative) with concessions in shaping perceived appropriateness of future concessions activity. Satisfaction with concessions services, amount of concessions activity that respondents perceived in the park in the present, and trust in GTNP were all non-factors in determining anticipated future appropriateness. Instead, a belief that concessions activity would increase, social liberalism, economic conservatism, and place identity with GTNP were related to perceptions that concessioner activity at GTNP would be inappropriately high in the future. Although the regression predicting future beliefs was robust (R2 = 0.43), no variables significantly predicted current beliefs (R2 = 0.05).


Featured photo by Grand Teton on Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/2jf3fa9