ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Ortega National Parks, the parent company of Dawnland LLC, which operates the Jordan Pond House restaurant and gift shop, is looking into teaming up with an “investing partner” to provide more “resources, expertise and capital,” according to company President Shane Ortega.
He said in an email exchange with the Islander that he is aware of a rumor circulating in some of the National Park Service (NPS) units where the company operates that it has been acquired by another firm.
“We haven’t,” he said.
Ortega National Parks, formerly Ortega Family Enterprises, is based in Santa Fe, N.M. In 2013 it was awarded a 10-year contract by the NPS to operate concessions in Acadia.
The company also is a concessionaire in 15 other NPS units, according to its website, including Carlsbad Caverns, Death Valley, Great Smoky Mountains, Hawaii Volcanoes and Mammoth Cave national parks.
“We are a family business that has undergone large growth recently,” Ortega said. “We looked at ourselves and realized it would benefit us, our customers and the NPS to bring in resources so that we do not have growth pains.
“If we did bring in a partner — and that would take a long time and an NPS approval process — we would still remain owners,” he continued. “I would still be leading the company.”
Having an investing partner “would mean that I would have more eyes and ears on the ground at Acadia, talking with customers … and working with the NPS to make sure we are doing the right thing,” Ortega said.
“I’m not going anywhere. I love Acadia and I love this business.”
In addition to the Jordan Pond House restaurant and gift shop, Ortega National Parks operates two small gift and snack shops in the park, one at the Cadillac Mountain summit and one at Thunder Hole.