Yellowstone National Park Lodges Embrace Made In America Movement; More Than Two-Thirds of Gift Shop Items are Made in the U.S.

For Immediate Release
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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, December 19, 2013 – National Made in America Month – December – coincides with the biggest shopping season of the year, and the movement encourages consumers and retail outlets alike to offer products made domestically. It’s an initiative that concessioner Xanterra Parks and Resorts’ Yellowstone National Park Lodges embraces in nine park gift stores and an online store, not just during the holiday shopping season but throughout the year.

Although 68 percent of all products found in its stores are made in America – an increase from 40 percent over the last 10 years – the concessioner does not think that number is high enough and is working hard to increase it.

All items Xanterra sells as “made in America” are completely manufactured, assembled and finished in the U.S.

Some products such as jewelry, pottery and ornaments in park stores are predominantly made by American manufacturers and local artisans. On the other hand, the stores’ plush toys such as stuffed grizzly bears, bison and other wildlife facsimiles are exclusively foreign-made. Because some American plush toys cost more than 200 percent more than their overseas counterparts, it is not feasible for park stores to sell them at competitive prices. Sunglasses and memory cards for cameras are dominated by foreign manufacturers as well.

“We would love to be able to say that everything we sell was made in America using American materials,” said Eric Robinson, Xanterra’s director of retail and purchasing in Yellowstone. “We are always actively looking for more U.S. manufacturers and goods. In fact, we have a web page devoted to collecting leads on other potential American producers.”

In addition to supporting American workers and businesses, there is often also a positive environmental benefit such as reduced energy needed for transportation, to offering products made in America, Offering local products is also an area of emphasis in the park’s nine restaurants, which have long offered a selection of locally and sustainably produced menu items.

In 2010 Xanterra opened “For Future Generations: Yellowstone Gifts” in Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Products in the store include sustainably and conventionally produced items. American-made, and more specifically, locally made products tend to have some of the most sustainable qualities, not only because of the reduced transportation energy, but because many local artists and manufacturers also prioritize the use of sustainably produced, recycled and American-made materials.

Two of Xanterra’s nine lodges are open during the winter season. Old Faithful Snow Lodge opens Dec. 18 and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel opens Dec. 20. The winter-season lodges close in early March. Then the lodges reopen on a staggered schedule for the summer season beginning in May.

Complete details about accommodations, restaurants, tours and activities in Yellowstone National Park can be found by visiting www.YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com or calling (1) 307-344-7311 or toll free (1) 866-GEYSERLAND (1-866-439-7375).