In early November, the Buffalo National River, through the National Park Service, announced that it was taking applications for shuttle services on the river. In the prospectus, the NPS included the following on Page 10, Exhibit 2:
“Transportation (Shuttle) Services: The Concessioner is authorized, but not required, to provided transportation services for clients who are NOT renting watercraft from them. This may be done by either shuttling people and their watercraft, or providing private vehicle shuttles for clients who are not renting from the Concessioner until January 1, 2026; hereafter, shuttles MUST only be completed in concession-owned vehicles.”
This plan will bar concessionaires from shuttling client vehicles on the Buffalo National River, currently, a popular function of shuttle concessionaires. The solicitation was open for proposals from possible concessionaire services until January 26, 2024. Yesterday, the BNR canceled the solicitation. Interested parties were sent this letter:
This mirrors the announcement made on Monday evening.
“The National Park Service (NPS), per 36 CFR § 51.11 has cancelled Solicitation CC-BUFFXXX-25 for a Concession Business Opportunity for Canoe and kayak Rental with Transportation (Shuttle) Services at Buffalo National River.
The open solicitation, which required proposals to be submitted by January 26, 2024, generated numerous questions that need to be addressed in the prospectus.
Accordingly, the NPS has determined that canceling the solicitation is appropriate in the public interest. The NPS anticipates issuing a new prospectus in the first quarter of 2024.”
(Cover photo by Kirk Jordan, Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism)