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National Park Service Regional Director John Wessels has announced that Weekend Warrior Outdoors, LLC (WWO) will operate the Elk Creek and Lake Fork Marinas at Curecanti National Recreation Area, providing boat and slip rentals, guiding service, food and beverage, retail, and other services. The sale and transfer of the existing contract became effective on January 11, 2011, and will be in effect for the remaining five years of the original 10 year contract.
WWO is owned by Ryan Johnson, a Gunnison County resident. Johnson said, "I am happy to be part of turning this operation around at Blue Mesa Reservoir. I look forward to getting the marina up and running as soon as ice is off the lake. We will be sending out letters to previous slip rental customers and offering more slips for rent this summer at the new west docks."
Park Superintendent Connie Rudd said, "Ryan Johnson and his company, WWO, is a welcome addition as a critical partner with the park service in providing essential amenities for our nearly one million visitors. Mr. Johnson is anxious to grow the business to meet current and future needs."
The previous concessioner at the park, Recreation Resource Management (RRM) based in Scottsdale, AZ, notified park officials in June of 2010 of their intent to abandon the contract, citing less than profitable results.
Rudd said, "Operating the marinas from a distance put RRM at a financial disadvantage. WWO is a locally owned business and the potential to involve other businesses in the community can spell success all around."
Rudd also noted that the park service has invested nearly a million dollars in the last year at Elk Creek Marina, with new breakwaters, new docks (to be installed this spring) and a new dock-mounted restroom. "More improvements are coming in the next four years," she said, "including the eventual replacement of the main docks at Elk Creek and Lake Fork. With WWO as partner, this will be a class act operation".
Ryan Johnson can be reached at 970-209-6495. Information about WWO is online at www.weekendwarrioroutdoors.com. Information about Curecanti National Recreation Area can be found at www.nps.gov/CURE .