BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, TX (KWES) - Wednesday, the National Park Service cancelled the solicitation for a new concession contract which provides lodging, food and beverage, automobile fuel, retail, RV park, and other visitor services within Big Bend National Park.
The cancellation followed a recent engineering report examining the extent of the instability of the soils beneath the Chisos Mountains Lodge.
In April 2018, the NPS issued a prospectus to solicit bids for the new concession contract but also informed potential buyers they were studying the problem.
The engineering report found that, while the lodge remains structurally stable, long-term remediation of the existing structure will likely require extensive reconstruction and soil stabilization under the building.
NPS says additional analysis and planning effort, with public input, will be required to determine how the problem can be addressed in a financially and environmentally sustainable way.
Constructed in 1964 and modified numerous times since then, the Lodge is an important part of Big Bend’s history and any major reconstruction or replacement will need to consider the impact on the area’s natural and cultural resources
“The NPS is cancelling this prospectus as the condition of the Lodge is more complicated than it was believed to be when the prospectus was issued, and may cause a greater impact to the operations of a future concessioner than anticipated,” explained Superintendent Bob Krumenaker.
To avoid an interruption of visitor service, the NPS intends to extend for one year the existing concession contract with Big Bend Resorts, LLC, part of the Forever Resorts family of companies.
The NPS intends to issue a new concession solicitation that will include the updated plans for the Lodge.
Existing dining and retail services, and overnight accommodations in the Chisos Basin, will continue without interruption.