TUSAYAN, Ariz. — After partnering with the National Geographic Society (NGS) for the past two decades, the Visitor Center and IMAX theater in Tusayan has been renamed the Grand Canyon Visitor Center after NGS declined to renew its license agreement with the property.
General Manager Janet Rosener said the company was taking its business strategy in a new direction and the agreement to part ways was mutual and amicable.
“Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox News, bought National Geographic, and he plans to focus on their media and tv channels,” she said.
Rosener said the company was fortunate enough to trademark the name “Grand Canyon Visitor Center” back in 2014, clearing the path for the current rebranding effort. Asked if the name might create confusion between the visitor center in Tusayan and the one located just a couple of miles away in the national park, Rosener said she didn’t think so. She said many people already believed they had arrived at the park when entering the Tusayan property.
“We’ve been a visitor center for 30 years, and we sell park passes here,” she said. “We do offer many of the same services such as information and local experts.”
In addition to new signage, visitors can also expect to see a new film in the coming months, which Rosener said is a fresh take after 35 years.
“There will be a few scenes from our current movie, but most of it is going to be completely new and improved,” she said. “It has some beautiful sky shots and some great information about the canyon.”
Moving forward, Rosener said the theater will have the opportunity to show feature-length films, but that most people come to see the short Grand Canyon film.