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Winter business in Yellowstone Park changes

November 30, 2005View for printing

When the winter season opens in Yellowstone National Park next month, visitors may be more likely to hear the swish of cross-country skis than the buzz of snowmobiles.

The business of Yellowstone in winter is undergoing a shift that seems less focused on resolving the longstanding dispute over snowmobiles and more about adapting to a changing market.

Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the largest concessions company in Yellowstone, is offering a slew of new services this winter, including more groomed trails for cross-country skiing, ice skating near Old Faithful and massage therapy at Snow Lodge.

The company still offers snowmobile tours, but it's no longer the dominant force it once was in Yellowstone.

"It's a new day," said Rick Hoeninghausen, director of sales and marketing for Xanterra. "It'll never be what it was where the largest part of the market is snowmobilers coming in on their own sleds."

By MIKE STARK Of The Gazette Staff

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