NPS Releases Concession Proposal for Gulf Islands National Seashore

Concessions opportunities near Fort Pickens in Gulf Islands National Seashore are now up for bid. NPS photo of Fort Pickens.

The National Park Service recently released a concession proposal for retail services at two locations in the Florida unit of Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Both concessions, one a campground store, and the other a snack bar, are near Fort Pickens on the western end of seven-mile long Santa Rosa Island. The concessions are currently being operated under a contract that expired in 2010, but are expected to continue until the proposed contract becomes effective in January 2013. The prospectus also requires the new concessionaire to operate a food truck at Langdon Beach where beach chair and umbrella rentals will be available.

Because of past hurricane damage that closed the access road to the concessions, the most recent three years of historical gross receipts data end in 2003. While receipts averaged about $275,000 per year during this period, the Park Service is estimating substantially higher annual revenues of from $320,000 to $470,000 for the three years beginning 2013.

The estimated initial investment is $55,000, most of which involve start-up costs. The five-year contract requires no leasehold surrender interest (ownership interest in improvements) to be paid to the existing concessionaire. However, the proposed contract includes a minimum franchise fee of 9.2 percent of gross receipts. As with other NPS contract proposals, bidders may offer a higher franchise fee.

The campground store is open seven days a week from March through early October (and occasionally during winter), while the snack bar is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but bar is closed the remainder of the year.

It should be noted that the National Park Service indicated in the prospectus that it will provide upgrades to both the campground store and the snack bar, which is one of the reasons for the optimistic revenue estimates. The new concessionaire will be required to offer bicycle, beach chair, and umbrella rentals at both locations.

In addition to required services at the campground store and snack bar, the concessionaire is authorized to operate a snack bar at Opal Beach in the Santa Rosa area and Johnson Beach in the Perdido Key area.

Offers in response to the proposal must be received by the National Park Service Atlanta regional office by October 4, 2012.