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Contact: Liz Weston, 207-288-8705
(Bar Harbor, Maine) – The National Park Service (NPS) has selected Carriages of Acadia, Inc., to operate Wildwood Stables within Acadia National Park. The 10-year contract is effective beginning January 1, 2009.
The current contract is held by Carriages in the Park, Inc., owned by Mr. Edward Winterberg of Covington, Kentucky. This contract was competitively awarded in 2002 and expires on December 31, 2008. In order to continue this valuable service, the National Park Service initiated a competitive process to award a new contract.
In December 2007, the National Park Service issued a prospectus soliciting offers and, in response, received four qualified offers from the following operators: Carriages of Acadia (Houlton, ME); Acadia Carriage Company, Inc. (Leesburg, FL); Acadia Carriage Tours & Stabling, Inc. (Seal Harbor, ME); and Blue Moon Belgians, LLC (Beaufort, SC). After review by a panel of NPS employees and industry experts based upon the specific selection factors described in detail in the prospectus and on criteria specified in the 1998 Concessions Management Act, Carriages of Acadia, Inc., was selected as the “best offeror.” (The Concessions Management Act made a number of changes in how NPS concessions contracts are awarded and was designed to enhance competition in order to better serve the public and taxpayers.)
Acadia National Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele said, “We believe it is important that visitors continue to have the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely carriage ride on about 45 miles of historic and scenic carriage roads. We have made major improvements to the facilities at Wildwood to assure continued success for the concession-operated carriage tours and equestrian services. We are pleased that we have a successful bidder on the new contract who is committed to providing improved services to the thousands of visitors who come to experience the carriage roads of Acadia.”
The National Park Service has demonstrated its commitment to providing equestrian services at Wildwood Stables through the award of this 10-year contract, as well as significant investments in the stables and the carriage road system.
- Over the course of the current contract, the park has invested nearly $1,000,000 in improvements at Wildwood Stables, including four new barns for overnight stabling. These improvements were made by the National Park Service using franchise fee monies, which are a percentage of a concessioner’s gross receipts paid to the government by the concessioner in return for using government-owned land and buildings. These monies are then spent for concession improvements.
- In addition, Friends of Acadia (FOA), a park partner and supporter, has donated more than $2,000,000 for carriage road maintenance and also donated two accessible carriages for use by visitors with mobility impairments.
- Park and FOA volunteers donate thousands of hours to help maintain the carriage roads for all visitors.
- All improvements made by the National Park Service during the current contract will remain under the new contract.
The National Park Service believes that eliminating horse use from the park would be contrary to the purposes and history of the carriage road system. However, the National Park Service has had to impose some restrictions in order to protect town water supplies and to reduce conflicts with other user groups.
Effective January 1, 2009, the telephone number for making overnight stabling reservations for the 2009 season is 877-276-3622. As it becomes available, information about the new contract will be posted on the park website at www.nps.gov/acad/parknews/index.htm. For more information about the new contract, please contact Acadia National Park Concessions Specialist Liz Weston at 207-288-8705.