Death Valley National Park Seeks Lodging Proposals for Stovepipe Wells Village
Death Valley National Park has issued a prospectus for a concession contract business opportunity. The Concessioner will operate lodging, food and beverage, retail, fuel sales, and other visitor services at Stovepipe Wells Village.
The National Park Service (NPS) issued the prospectus on May 19, 2022. Any proposal, including that of the existing Concessioner, must be received by the NPS Regional Office by 12:00 pm PST on October 7, 2022 in order to be evaluated and considered for award of the concession contract.
The NPS will hold a one-day site visit at Stovepipe Wells Village on June 2, 2022.
Stovepipe Wells Village is part of a long and varied history of businesses operating within the park and is the only hotel operating as a concession under a contract with the National Park Service, which owns the land and facilities. The Oasis at Death Valley and Panamint Springs Resort, though located within the boundaries of the Park, are on privately-owned land and facilities.
The prospectus is available at nps.gov/subjects/concessions/deva002-24.htm. Any questions regarding this business opportunity must be sent in writing via email by June 10, 2022 to Sue Eibeck, [email protected].
Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural resources, cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. Learn more at www.nps.gov/deva.
Q. What visitor services are included in the new contract?
A. The new concession contract will provide the same services as the expiring contract: motel style lodging, RV camping, food and beverage (restaurant and saloon), retail (gift shop and general store), fuel sales, and other visitor services.
Q. When will the new contract start?
A. It is estimated the new contract will start on January 13, 2024.
Q. How did the National Park Service decide which services to include in the prospectus?
A. The services selected were based on existing services in the park and evaluation of related services offered in the park area and/or desired by visitors. All services were evaluated to determine if they were necessary and appropriate to be offered at this park.
Q. Why does the National Park Service have concession operations?
A. The purpose of concessioners in parks is to provide necessary and appropriate visitor services that government agencies do not traditionally provide. Generally, these are lodging, food and beverage, and retail services, but may also include other services such as guided trips, transportation services, auto fuel, and a variety of other services, depending on the park.
Q. Will there be any closures to the services or facilities with a new operator?
Q. Will there be opportunities for hiring local employees?
A. Recruitment for employees is the responsibility of the concessioner. Since Death Valley National Park has limited housing for concession employees, it is anticipated that area residents will be recruited for positions at the park as part of the concessioner’s overall plan to staff its operation.
Q. How are proposals evaluated? How do you select a concessioner?
A. An evaluation panel, made up of NPS employees and technical advisors, analyze the proposals received and provide a recommendation to the Director. The Director made the final decision in accordance with the provisions of the National Park Service. Park employees and their partners cannot participate in the evaluation. Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998 (1998 Act). The 1998 Act made a number of changes in how concession contracts are awarded in order to enhance competition.
Q. Will costs for concession activities increase?
A. Costs to visitors using concession services go through a rate review process with the NPS, to ensure rates are reasonable.It is possible that rates could increase.
Q. Does the public comment on the selection process?
A. Due to proprietary information contained in bid proposals, the process is internal and there is no public comment.
Q. As a visitor, will I notice any significant changes at the park?
A. The future concessioner is able to make changes to operations as allowed under its contract and with approval of the National Park Service. Changes could include new interior decors, changes in menu offerings, changes in operating hours and changes in rates.
Q. How do concessioners help the NPS?
A. In addition to the services that they provide to visitors, they also assist with the maintenance of park facilities and education of visitors about park resources and the NPS mission.
Q. Does the concessioner pay anything to the NPS?
A. The concessioner will be required by contract to pay a franchise fee to NPS. There is a minimum franchise fee published in the prospectus, and bidders on the contract may offer more than the minimum franchise fee. The final franchise fee is available once the contract is signed by the concessioner and NPS.
(From Death Valley National Park)