Assateague Island Concession Bids Will Be Sought

BERLIN — A prospectus soliciting proposals to provide things like equipment rentals, food and beverage, merchandise and other services for the Assateague Island National Seashore is set to be released next month.
Bids to fill the services requested will go through the National Park Service (NPS). Specifics about the scope of services being sought won’t be known until the prospectus is released, but the hope is to attract a large field of bidders, according to NPS representative Debbie Morlock.
“We’re just trying to get the word out to prospective bidders so they have opportunity to be looking for it and be prepared to be able to make an offer,” she said. “We certainly want it to go as far and wide as possible so we can get the best people operating the contract for the benefit of the park and the public.”
Currently, the Assateague Island Alliance (AIA) has a store in the north parking lot area that offers concessions. The store could be replaced after the prospectus is bid out.
“[AIA] is the current contractor and the contract was issued on a short-term temporary basis and will expire at the end of the year, so it is that contract that is being offered,” she said.
However, AIA will be able to submit a bid on the prospectus along with any other interested parties.
NPS has scheduled a site visit for potential bidders set for Saturday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m.
“The site visit will allow all interested parties to tour concession facilities and observe services while in operation,” read a release from NPS.
There may be a follow-up visit in the fall as well, though facilities will be closed for the season by then. Filling the prospectus is a big target for potential service providers.
“More than two million people visit the island annually to enjoy pristine beaches, observe the famous wild horses, camp, and take part in a wide range of recreational activities,” the release continued. “This is an opportunity to provide valuable services to the public while supporting the mission of the NPS.”
NPS is scheduled to release the prospectus by Oct. 24, though expect it to come out in early October. After it has been released on and all of the details about what NPS is looking for are known, bidders will have 90 days to submit a proposal. The awarding of bids will most likely be announced early next spring, in time for the 2014 summer season.