Writer Weighs in on Private Concessioners
Editor’s Note: The following story was written by Mike Bookey and appeared in The Source Weekly, Bend, Ore.
If you’ve camped in any of our nearby national forests in the past few years, you probably paid for the right to do so. And when you wrote a check for your campsite, you almost certainly didn’t make it out to the National Forest Service. You probably made it out to Hoodoo, Chuck Shepard’s recreation and resort management company, or one of the other companies contracted to take care of campgrounds in the forests.
One of the most prominent concessionaires in the entire Northwest, Shepard owns Hoodoo ski resort and its accompanying campground management division. Hoodoo is the only private concessionaire in the Deschutes National Forest, managing all of the forests’ 81 privately run campgrounds. In all, Shepard’s company manages about 150 campgrounds in Oregon and Washington. That number was once larger, but his company recently lost a bid to continue managing almost 50 other locations in the Willamette National Forest to another Utah-based company, American Lands & Leisure.
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