Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI): A Business Opportunity to Sell Bagged Ice or Provide an Ice Vending Machine

This is a Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI) only.

This RFEI is issued solely for information and planning purposes and does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a promise to issue a RFP in the future. This request for expressions of interest does not commit the Government to contract for any supply or service whatsoever. Further, the National Park Service (NPS) is not at this time seeking proposals and will not accept unsolicited proposals.

The NPS is soliciting comments to a proposal for a vendor to sell bagged ice or operate an ice vending machine at Padre Island National Seashore. The NPS asks that you provide your comments no later than the date written at the bottom of this page.

Responders are advised that the U.S. Government will not pay for any information or administrative costs incurred in response to this RFEI. All costs associated with responding to this RFEI will be solely at the interested party's expense. Not responding to this RFEI does not preclude participation in any future RFP, if any is issued. If a solicitation is released, it will be synopsized on the Federal Business Opportunities website. It is the responsibility of the potential offerors to monitor this site for additional information pertaining to this requirement.

In the event of any inconsistency between the terms of this RFEI and 36 C.F.R. Part 51, 36 C.F.R. Part 51 will control.

Padre Island National Seashore Overview

Padre Island National Seashore (Park) was established by an act of Congress on September 28, 1962 (Public Law 87-712), “to save and preserve, for the purposes of public recreation, benefit, and inspiration a portion of diminishing seashore of the United States that remains undeveloped.”

Padre Island National Seashore encompasses 130,434 acres of America’s vanishing barrier islands. It is the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world. White sand beaches, interior grasslands, freshwater ponds and wetlands, and the Laguna Madre provide habitat for sea turtles, migrating songbirds and shorebirds, deer, snakes, waterfowl, and coyotes. While providing food, water, and shelter for the multitude of diverse wildlife, the island remains a destination for tourists. Visitors experience the wind in their face and the surf on their feet. From windsurfing to fishing, the Park provides many recreational opportunities.

Park Information

The Park is open to the public year-round. The peak season is Memorial Day until Labor Day; however, March and April are also popular months for spring break vacationers. Vehicle access provides the only means of getting to the Park. Once within the Park, there are 8.5 miles of paved road and another 60 miles of beach terrain, of which only the first five miles is available for non-four-wheel drive vehicles; four-wheel drive vehicles are required for the last 55 miles. The Park’s only significant boat launch ramp is located at Bird Island Basin.


Visitation is steadily increasing with the recovery from the recent economic downturn. The majority of visitation is predominately day use. Many visitors are from the local Corpus Christi area, however, the Park is experiencing an up-tick in visitors from the San Antonio and Houston areas of the state as well as many out of state visitors. In addition to beach use, other popular activities include camping and fishing.

In 2016, the Park hosted 66,812 campers. Camping is permitted in five areas within the Park. Malaquite campground has 48 sites for RV’s and tents. Bird Island Basin has 40 sites for RV’s and tents. North Beach, South Beach and Yarborough Pass host primitive sites with no facilities or designated sites. Camping is limited to 14 days at one time and 28 days throughout the year.

Fishing has been one of the biggest attractions to Padre Island, long before its designation as a national seashore. Visitors may fish along the entire length of the Gulf of Mexico beach, in the Laguna Madre, and at Yarborough Pass and Bird Island Basin. To fish anywhere within the park requires a valid Texas fishing license and a saltwater stamp, which are only sold outside of the park at any local gas station or tackle shop.

Annual Visitation at Padre Island National Seashore, 2013-16
2014 2015 2016
January 24,858 27,146 22,956 27,667
February 24,482 30,255 32,484 44,270
March 51,791 49,676 49,973 63,331
April 40,302 49,052 47,803 46,856
May 41,037 54,009 59,281 65,112
June 68,491 64,639 77,563 78,748
July 87,455 99,526 100,483 94,901
August 74,998 70,840 77,203 60,916
September 34,946 47,815 39,657 49,974
October 21,597 38,182 32,451 49,041
November 20,961 27,759 17,317 33,557
December 19,912 19,916 25,668 20,639
TOTAL 515,803 578,815 582,839 634,012
Source: NPS

Demand Information

Until 2016 ice was sold via a store no longer in operation that was authorized under a concession contract. Seasonal sales were typically 250-300 ten pound bags per week. During the busiest weeks of the season, this volume could double. Up to 250 bags of ice could be sold during summer holiday weekends.

The Malaquite Visitor Center and developed campgrounds are approximately 14 miles from the nearest services located on North Padre Island. Currently no ice is available in the park and demand for ice from day users, campers and fishermen remains high.

The Park does not have the ability to store weekly ice deliveries and the NPS is unaware of any commercial ice companies willing to make multiple deliveries each week. The Park does not intend to invest in a large freezer.

Submission Guidelines

The NPS asks interested parties to provide recommendations regarding this proposed business opportunity. The NPS will consider these recommendations when finalizing the terms of an Authorization. These recommendations are recommendations only and the quality of the recommendations will not be scored or considered in the event a Request for Proposal is advertised. Please provide the following in your recommendation:
  • Recommendations of any kind regarding this RFEI and/or how to structure a future business opportunity.
  • Your name, company or organization, and contact information including email address
  • Previous experience similar to the operations proposed in the RFEI, if any
  • Previous NPS Concessions experience, if any
  • An indication of whether you would like the NPS to retain your contact information and notify you if a Request for Proposal is advertised
  • Any other pertinent points or conditions

Please submit your response by June 23, 2017 via email to Mark Spier, Superintendent, Padre Island NS at:

The NPS will acknowledge your submission after receipt. Within 60 days of the submission date, the NPS will provide a publically available description of the next steps in the process and notify all respondents by email.

Last updated: March 1, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, TX 78480


(361) 949-8068
This is the primary phone number for the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore.

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