WILLIAMS TOUR GUIDE - Spring/Summer 2017


Get the most out of Grand Canyon: VERKAMPS

From the Williams Tour Guide print publication

Timeline in Verkamp’s Visitor Center.
Timeline in Verkamp’s Visitor Center.

The closing of Verkamp’s Curios just a few years ago may have marked the end of an era for the century-old, family-run business. But, when the building on the Rim reopened in time for the park’s 90th anniversary in 2009, it represented something new. Not only is it the only visitor center on the Canyon’s edge, it also houses an exhibit that explains Grand Canyon as a community where people live and work.

“Nowhere in the park do we interpret the community,” said Jennie Albrinck, who was one of the leading planners for the exhibit designed to fill that void. “We want to share with visitors that we are a community.”

As the first visitor center on the Rim, the building is staffed with uniformed rangers daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Grand Canyon Association operates a bookstore in the space as well.

When the Verkamp family didn’t submit a bid in 2007 to continue with the longest-running family business in the National Park Service, Park officials decided to buy out the family’s interest and convert the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, to interpretive use. The building also contains information boards, touch tables, a replica of the original Verkamp tent, family movies and historic photos.




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