DEP ISSUES REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS TO OPERATE CONCESSIONS
AND MANAGE CATERING AND EVENTS AT LIBERTY STATE PARK
(11/P112) TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection has released a Request for Proposals for the management and operation of concession, catering and events services at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.
It is part of an ongoing effort by the DEP to improve services and enhance revenues at all State Parks, to maintain a pledge made by Governor Christie to keep all State Parks open to provide affordable, quality recreation for New Jersey residents, especially during tough economic times.
"Running the State Park system is an enormous and expensive challenge, requiring the DEP to operate a myriad of highly diverse facilities that must be properly maintained and safeguarded for use by our residents,'' said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. "We are looking to increase sustainable funding for our system by better utilizing some of our remarkable spaces, and Liberty State Park is an exceptional example of that.''
"In addition, we are striving to add amenities to venues like Liberty State Park, to make them more enjoyable places for our residents to visit. "We want the more than 18 million visitors to our parks, forests, natural areas and historic sites to be rewarded with experiences that truly engage, educate and enlighten.''
The DEP is seeking an operator with experience in and knowledge of food service, catering and events management, which is financially stable and shows strength in customer service commitment and employee performance. The successful bidder will pay the State a fixed annual fee, increased annually, plus a percentage of its annual gross revenue earned from park operations.
The initial term for the management agreement will be 10 years, with a 5-year renewal option. The successful bidder will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of food, beverage and concession sales and catering and events management services. The successful bidder will be responsible for the full-time management and delivery of those services, as well as their marketing and commercial development.
"A private firm now manages the food, beverage and souvenir sales for tourists visiting Liberty en route to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty," said Amy Cradic, Assistant Commissioner of Natural and Historic Resources. "Now we're turning to professionals in the hospitality industry for proposals that add the management of catering and events at Liberty State Park."
A mandatory bidders meeting will be held at the CRRNJ Terminal at Liberty State Park on September 15. The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. in the Blue Comet Auditorium. The deadline for submitting proposals is September 29. For a copy of the RFP, visit: www.njparksandforests.org/parks/business_ops/current_leases.htm
Liberty State Park is located on Upper New York Bay in Jersey City, overlooking the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyline. A green oasis in New Jersey's most densely populated region, the 1,212-acre park includes a wildlife habitat, open water, fields, nature trails, and bike paths, as well as a two-mile waterfront promenade. The Park was assembled through land purchases made with state and federal funds and Jersey City's donation of 156 acres. It was dedicated for public use on June 14, 1976.
Activities in the park include boating, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, and numerous special events. More than 5 million annual visitors can be accommodated within the Park's 598 upland acres, 523 tidal acres, 25 structures, and 5.3 miles of roads.
The historic Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) Terminal, completed in 1889, is the cornerstone of Liberty State Park. Built at a time of intense immigration from Europe, it served as both a railroad and a maritime terminal, with arrivals by train and ferry processed at Ellis Island and entering the U.S. through the building. The Terminal is listed on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places.