Millions up for grabs with ONP concession deals

Peninsula Daily News

Look west from Kalaloch Lodge and you'll see the Pacific Ocean sweep time to the horizon.

Take a peek inside the lodge's accounting office and you'll get a completely different view of the resort, Olympic National Park's most lucrative business.

More than $3 million in gross receipts is entered into the Kalaloch books each year. It's one of 53 National Park Service concessions annually grossing that much, or much more.

At Kalaloch, where a contract with Aramark Corp. has expired, all that money is about to go up for grabs.

And Kalaloch isn't the park's only expired concession contract.

In fact, all six Olympic contracts are overdue and operating under special extensions.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, Lake Crescent Lodge, the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, Log Cabin Resort and Fairholm General Store are the other private businesses operating under contract inside Olympic National Park.

Each pays the park service a franchise fee, a certain percentage of gross receipts, generally from 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent.

Due out Feb. 26

The Kalaloch and Sol Duc concessions will be the first filled in Olympic.

Prospectuses for both are set to be released Feb. 26, according to Olympic National Park Concession Specialist Jim Schultz.

``Until these two are worked out the others are on the back burner,'' Schultz said last month.

Prospectuses list services the park expects to be offered as well as a minimum franchise fee.

``And then you award higher points if someone offers a higher franchise fee,'' said National Park Service Pacific West Regional Concession Manager Tony Sisto, based in Oakland, Calif.


OPN: Here's a breakdown of park concessions

Peninsula Daily News

National parks around the country are scrambling to fill expired concession contracts.

Regulations for implementing the National Park Service Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998 weren't finalized until 2000, according to National Park Service Concessions Program Manager Cindy Orlando.

``Once the law was passed we basically had over 400 contracts that were expired,'' Orlando said late last month. ``We've probably addressed about 60 percent of the contract backlog.''

The park service administers 590 concession contracts that annually generate $818.6 million, according to the service's 2002 annual report.



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