The story of Xanterra Travel Collection begins in 1876 when talented visionary Fred Harvey struck a deal with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad to open restaurants (and later hotels and gift stores) at rail stops for weary travelers making their way west. The famous Harvey Houses were even the subject of the 1946 movie “The Harvey Girls,” about the women who worked at his restaurants, starring Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse and Angela Lansbury.
The Harvey empire was sold in the late 1960s to Hawaii-based Amfac Resorts, which later acquired TW Recreational Services, making Amfac the largest national and state park concessioner in the United States. In 2002, the company name was changed to Xanterra Parks & Resorts, and the company was acquired by The Anschutz Corporation in 2008.
Over the years, Xanterra has expanded its operations to include the purchase of the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, and Windstar Cruises, as well as pursued an expansion into adventure travel with the acquisitions of VBT Bicycling Vacations, Country Walkers and Holiday Vacations, and hotel properties near national parks (The Grand Hotel and Cedar Creek Lodge). Xanterra shares its ownership with two legendary, iconic hotels – The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and Sea Island resort just off the Georgia coast.
Today, Xanterra Travel Collection is an upscale biking, walking, railway, cruising, sailing, touring, and hotel company offering exciting itineraries on six continents.
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