North Cascades National Park Looking For Concessionaire On Lake Chelan

The concessions contract for the Stehekin Landing Resort at North Cascades National Park Complex is up for renewal.

Ever get the urge to run a business on a backcountry lake surrounded by a national park? Your opportunity awaits at the North Cascades National Park Complex.

Last fall park officials ran an advertisement looking for someone to operate the Stehekin Landing Resort with its lodging and dining operations, store, gas station, and transportation services in the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Apparently that was met with little interest, as the park is re-advertising that opportunity with a revised proposal they hope will "create a more attractive contract."

You can find a copy of the prospectus at this site. There will be a site visit to the Stehekin Landing Resort, with park personnel, on May 17. Proposals from interested parties are due back to the park by 4 p.m. this coming July 12. Questions about the prospectus must be submitted in writing and must be received by May 24 at 4:00 p.m. PDT.

Stehekin Landing Resort currently provides these concession services and will continue to be in full operation through October 31. The resort currently is taking reservations for lodging and activities for the 2011 summer season.

North Cascades officials view this business opportunity as a key component in supporting visitors to North Cascades National Park Complex and the Stehekin Valley. Accessible only by foot, ferry or plane, Stehekin is a destination for relaxation, adventure, and family fun–providing an array of recreation opportunities, including bicycling, kayaking, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and ranger-led activities. In addition to the majestic scenery, attractions include the 312-foot Rainbow Falls, Historic Buckner Homestead (orchard), and the dynamic Stehekin River.

The concessioner will be assigned a total of 21 buildings, including standard motel rooms, room with kitchenettes, a full-service newly remodeled restaurant, a general store and housing for concession employees. In addition, the concessioner will be assigned four heritage-style buses for providing tours and shuttle service within the Stehekin Valley.

“In recent years, significant improvements have been made to the buildings and facilities, providing a solid base for hospitality operations,” said North Cascades Superintendent Chip Jenkins.

The required services under this contract include overnight accommodations (29 lodging units), food and beverage services, retail services for limited groceries, souvenirs and supplies, transportation for shuttle services and Rainbow Falls Tours, operation of the public shower and laundry, and vehicle and boat fuel sales.

Additional services are authorized, but not required, such as bicycle, boat and equipment rentals, guided instruction, water and vehicle taxi services, and other tours. The ten-year contract will start on or after November 1, 2011, but no later than March 1, 2012.

This business opportunity was originally announced last September and offers were accepted through January 19. Although the National Park Service received response, it determined the response was not sufficient to award a contract.

The National Park Service has re-evaluated the prospectus and made revisions to attract more bids. For a complete list and description of the changes, please refer to the cover page of the new prospectus. Some of the changes include:

* Flexible contract start date. Potential bidders now have the opportunity to propose a start date between November 1, 2010 and March 1, 2012.

* Lower annual franchise fee. The franchise fee has been lowered from 6 percent to 5 percent of the concessioner’s total annual gross receipts for the preceding year.

* Removal of the maintenance reserve. The concessioner is no longer required to contribute 1 percent of their annual gross receipts to a maintenance reserve account.

* Less required insurance coverage. The National Park Service has lowered the amount of general liability insurance necessary.

For more information about submitting a proposal or to be placed on a mailing list to receive additional information specific to the prospectus, please contact Isabel Alvarado, Concessions Management Specialist, National Park Service, at (510) 817-1471 or by email.