CASE STUDY Xanterra

Xanterra gallery image

Amfac Parks & Resorts wanted to change its name to distance itself from the bankruptcy of Amfac Hawaii. It needed the new name to span its incredible portfolio of national park lodges and resorts like those in Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and the Everglades. It was looking for something new, more contemporary and innovative sounding. A name that set it apart from other parks and resorts but that was also rich in story.

And, finally, the name had to fit Amfac’s reputation of environmental friendliness and overall excellence as reported in Hotel Online:

The company is known for finding innovative ways to preserve the environment while operating facilities in remote areas of the country. Last year, the company’s programs garnered the attention of both the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Travel Industry Association (TIA). The Department of the Interior awarded Amfac the Department’s 2001 Environmental Achievement Award. The company was the only concessioner – and one of only 13 winners in three categories – to receive the award. Just 24 hours later, the Travel Industry Association, representing the $582 billion travel industry, presented the company with its 2001 Odyssey Award in the Environment category in recognition of “excellence and exceptional achievements in travel and tourism.”

So NameStormers coined Xanterra. Pronounced “Zanterra.” It was derived from “Xanadu,” from the Kubla Khan poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge about an “idyllic, beautiful place,” and “terra,” as in “the earth.”

Andrew Todd, President of Xanterra, had this to say about the name: “As the stewards of some of this country’s national park treasures and operators of resorts throughout the U.S., we felt we needed a name that was more reflective of the spectacular destinations in which we operate.”  And while Xanterra might create an expectation of something truly extraordinary, it just takes one trip to the Grand Canyon to see how well the name fits.