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Death Valley National Park, the Death Valley Conservancy, and Death Valley Lodging Co. hosted a "Park Partners" evening at Stovepipe Wells Village in late October, 2011. About 35 people attended a dinner in the resort's Tollhouse Cafe, after a reception in the adjacent Badwater Saloon. After the reception, guests were treated to a flute and bass duo while many made connections for the first time, and others renewed previous acquaintances. "The Death Valley Conservancy is proud to be a part of the broader Death Valley community that cares so passionately about the Park and its rich heritage. This gathering of partners and community members was a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends, renew old acquaintances, and share ideas to enhance the Park and its surrounding areas." remarked Preston Chiaro, President of the Death Valley Conservancy.
Members of organizations from each cardinal direction were represented- the Owens Valley, Trona, Shoshone, and Pahrump. "Death Valley National Park considers all external organizations as valuable partners who help the park accomplish our mission of protecting the nation's natural and cultural resources" commented Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead. Park partners are as diverse as the neighboring communities: business owners, conservation groups, chambers of commerce, museum directors, private citizens, land managers, authors and film makers. All help to create a sense of community and commitment to the outstanding resources of Death Valley National Park.
For the new concessionaire within the park, it was an opportunity to meet the park's neighbors and learn what role each group plays. "The contributions of each Park Partner was the most enjoyable topic of the evening, it is inspiring to hear, first hand, the dedication of these groups" expressed Tanya Ortega from the Death Valley Lodging Company. The Ortega family also operates additional concessions in other National Park units. This is the first year for the Ortega's in Death Valley, and they are off to a very impressive start.