Media contacts:Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562Sandy Mealing, (360) 902-8559
OLYMPIA – Aug. 8, 2017 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is reaching out to identify qualified partners to work with in developing recreational facilities and services for the public in four state parks.
Following a system-wide assessment and a series of public meetings, the Commission in 2016 approved sites as recreation concession areas within Fort Flagler, Westport Light, Millersylvania and Squilchuck state parks. The sites have been deemed appropriate for development of recreation amenities such as cabins or vacation cottages, recreation facilities and cafes or food services. State Parks is distributing a Request for Qualifications with the intention of identifying one or more private business, non-profit or other public entities that could work with the agency to design, acquire permits, construct and possibly operate facilities, services or opportunities for the public at these sites.
Interested parties may respond to the Request for Qualifications by providing information on business qualifications and also may propose ideas for the sites. Information and a link are available at http://parks.state.wa.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/9580.
“The objective of this is for State Parks to identify practical ways that we can provide services and activities that people want, without additional capital investments or on-going increases in net operating costs,” said Don Hoch, agency director. “Our state continues to grow, people keep coming up with new ways to recreate – and we know that visits to state parks and outdoor recreation in general are a real driver for state and local economies. We believe this is an approach that will help us keep up with all of those demands and encourage economic development.”
Washington State Parks currently has lease agreements with 50 different concessionaires in parks across the state. Most are small businesses that offer a range of services and opportunities, including boat rentals, food stands, horseback riding, tree climbing, cabin rentals, a ski resort and a golf course. The current request could identify other small-scale as well as larger-scale opportunities.
The Commission in 2015 identified 14 sites to explore for potential partnership development activity. Through additional detailed assessment, staff evaluation and public process, the sites were narrowed down to four. Any proposal or potential development must be compatible with the State Parks’ mission, to provide diverse recreation opportunities and provide stewardship for natural, cultural and historical resources.
Once one or more development partners is identified through the bid process, use agreements such as long-term leases will be negotiated and forwarded to the Commission for review and potential approval. Lease agreements could be in place by June 2018, with project development beginning at that time.
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
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Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at http://adventureawaits.com/Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission1111 Israel Road S.W.P.O. Box 42650Olympia, WA 98504-2650Washington Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388