The National Park Service recently announced an extension for proposals to operate the Beanery, the food concession at the historic Kelso Depot in California’s Mojave National Preserve. This extends by 50 days to July 31 an earlier extension announced in April. A site visit is scheduled for June 28.
The Beanery is a 31-seat lunch counter on the first floor of the two-story renovated railway depot that served as a stop for the Union Pacific Railroad on the route from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. The concession includes a separate food preparation room, a second-floor office, and space for storage. The food service area shares the building with the NPS visitor center, so operation of the concession must be within the visitor center operating hours that are currently 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week except Christmas Day.
Beanery revenues for years 2009 through 2011 were reported as $57,000, $95,000, and $141,000, respectively. The increase in 2011 revenues resulted, at least in part, from the concessionaire choosing to increase the days of operation from five to seven in 2011. The NPS projects annual revenues of between $150,000 and $160,000 for years 2014 through 2016.
Annual visitation to the depot increased from approximately 50,000 in 2008 to nearly 70,000 in 2011, the last year for which data are available. In addition to food and beverage service, the concessionaire is authorized to sell merchandise, bagged ice, and bundled firewood.
The initial investment required for a new concessionaire is estimated at $40,492. A franchise fee of 1.5% of annual revenues is required for each year of the ten-year contract. Two RV pads that will accommodate vehicles of between 30 and 35 feet in length are available for use by the concessionaire.