Grand Canyon back to drawing table after proposal for lucrative contract fails to attract bids

The Grand Canyon has given up for now on soliciting bids for a long-term contract to run the park's most iconic hotels and restaurants on the South Rim.

The services include managing the historic El Tovar Hotel and taking visitors on mule rides down the trails.

The National Park Service says it failed to garner any bids for a 15-year contract that suited its needs, despite several amendments since August 2013. The agency says it will revise the proposal substantially before putting it out to bid again.

The contract now held by Xanterra (zan-TAYR'-uh) Parks & Resorts expires Dec. 31 and cannot be extended.

Grand Canyon Superintendent Dave Uberuaga (yoo-bur-AH'-gah) has said a temporary contract will ensure that services to visitors won't be shut down.