Grand Thoughts at the Grand Canyon

A meeting that brought together almost 150 leaders from the American national park community was recently held in the Grand Canyon. “Grand Thoughts at the Grand Canyon” was brought together by the National Park Hospitality Association. Attendees included a roster of those who have a vested interest in the success of the park system. Participants included those in the camping, restaurant, telecommunications, tourism and other industries who work in and around the parks.

Included in the event were keynote presentations and special panels focusing on the future of the national parks. One of the speakers was, Brent Young, the founder and creative director of Studio 78, a company that creates theme park attractions and innovative film concepts. He presented ideas for innovative park attractions including a walk with a holographic ranger.

One common thread was the need to develop strategies that bring more financial and manpower resources to the park system. With an eye to the future, many new ideas were discussed. During 2013 the Grey Group agency will conduct research about the public’s awareness of national parks as well as their attitudes about the parks.

National parks attract an estimated 100 million visitors each year. With the Centennial of the National Park Service coming in 2016, it is thought that the timing is great to work towards a unified national park community committed to the success of the future of the parks.

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