OCEAN CITY — Ocean City approved a five-year contract for the lease of the iconic tents featured for years at special events including Springfest, Sunfest and Winterfest, for example.
In February, the purchasing department in conjunction with Special Events received permission from the Mayor and Council to solicit bids for the lease of the special events tents approved in the fiscal year 2016 budget. In mid-March, the bids were received and reviewed by staff and most were found to come in over the budgeted amount.
Procurement Manager Catrice Parsons and Special Events Director Frank Miller went back over the submitted bids, clarified one error on a tent size, corrected missing items in each bid received and negotiated the pricing due to the bids being over the budgeted amount. With all of the corrections and price negotiations completed, the recommended bid was presented to the council during Tuesday’s work session.
The recommended bid was submitted by Select Rental Corporation at a total of $275,000 per year for five years with a total for the life the contract coming in at $1.375 million. Parsons told the council Select Rental represented the highest scoring responsive and responsible offer after adjustments were made in the initial bids.
“We went back and took the Art’s Alive portion out,” she said. “We’re looking at doing that locally for around $1,300.”
Councilman Tony DeLuca questioned the significant increase in the recommended bid compared to the existing special events tent lease.
“Last year, we spent $212,000 and it was budgeted for $212,000,” he said. “That’s a $65,000 increase. Where is that coming from?”
Miller explained there were no price increases in the last five years. He further explained a portion of the cost of this year’s Springfest tent rentals were included in the bid and the declining revenue from Springfest and Sunfest would be made up by the other major special event.
“When we look at the net profit on Springfest and Sunfest in 2016, we’ll probably see a decrease in that revenue,” he said. “The goal is to look at all of the special events. Winterfest, for example, will likely increase in revenue and that increase will make up the differences in the losses.”
Parsons said a further review of the bids revealed a different size was needed for one of the tents at Winterfest and the bidders went back and adjusted their bids for that one tent. Councilman Wayne Hartman said the council was left with little choice but to accept the recommended bid.
“If we don’t do this, we don’t have the tents this year,” he said.