ASSATEAGUE- National Park Service officials last week announced the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and its partner SuperFun Eco Tours have been selected to run the concession operations at Assateague Island National Seashore.
The MCBP, in partnership with SuperFun Eco Tours, will operate the concession operation, including retail services at the Beach Hut on Assateague Island’s North Beach area along with retail and rental services at the Bayside launch area. The new 10-year concession contract is authorized under the National Park Service Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998, which required a competitive bidding process and the MCBP and SuperFun Eco Tours were the successful bidders. The new contract is expected to become effective next month.
“This new concession contract will retain the same high standards of service that visitors enjoy now and will improve the environmental sustainability of a very efficient operation,” said NPS Northeast Regional Director Michael Caldwell, who announced the contract award last week.
The MCBP, working in conjunction with SuperFun Eco Tours, is expected to provide the exceptional visitor services expected at Assateague Island National Seashore. The plan includes offering expanded rental services for kayaking, canoeing and biking, along with locally sourced and sustainable food and beverage options. The partners also plan to institute new environmentally friendly initiatives, and sourcing a high percentage of the retail merchandise it offers from local artists.
“We are so excited about this partnership with Assateague Island National Seashore,” said MCBP Executive Director Dave Wilson. “One of our goals is to get people outdoors to appreciate the beauty of the bays behind Assateague and biking and canoeing are two of the best ways to do that.”
For their part, SuperFun Eco Tours is also looking forward to partnering with the MCBP and the National Park Service on the concession operations at Assateague.
“We are thrilled for this opportunity to partner with the National Park Service and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program,” said owners Tom Simon and Neil Nimrichtor. “We are excited to showcase our local community through our efforts at Assateague Island National Seashore.”
The new and expanded concession operation will provide both day visitors and overnight campers with the only food, beverage and merchandise service in the park. It will also provide opportunities for visitors to take home a reminder of their Assateague experience. Each retail facility will serve as an information center about the park as a whole with interpretive exhibits, brochures and maps.