North Cascade National Park Complex officials are seeking proposals to run the concessions at Ross Lake National Recreation Area, mainly the Ross Lake Resort.
The resort includes 15 cabins, including three bunkhouses, that sit atop large logs anchored on the northwest side Ross Lake. The resort can be reached only by boat. Each cabin has a fully-equipped kitchen, private bathroom and woodstove.
About 6,800 people visit the resort each year. It is popular with people who want to fish, as well as those who just want to “get away from it all,” the prospectus said. There are no phones or televisions in the cabins, and there is no cellphone reception or WiFi.
Gross receipts in 2010 were more than $739,000.
The National Park Service’s call for bids includes requirements that the concessionaire offer cabin rental, sale of fuel and oil, boat rental, outboard motor rental, boat taxi services, rental of fishing equipment and sale of fishing licenses.
According to Park Service documents, the new 10-year contract would begin Jan. 1. It includes a franchise fee of 3 percent, up from the current franchise fee of 2.75 percent. Proposals must be submitted to the park complex by Aug. 2.
The details are at concessions.nps.gov/rola003-13.htm.
VOLUNTEER HELP NEEDED
The cultural resource program at Mount Rainier National Park needs detail-oriented individuals who are interested in the photographic history of the park. These volunteers will help the park curator process the park’s historic documents according to National Park Service archival standards.
Once that project is complete, there may be an opportunity to catalog natural history specimens.
The work will help the park by improving the organization of its historic collections and making them more accessible for use by park naturalists, resource managers and the public, said Brooke Childrey, the park’s curator.
Four volunteers are needed to work from May-September. The work will be done at the curation facility at the park’s Tahoma Woods headquarters near Ashford.
Housing and a small reimbursement for living expenses are available, if needed, for volunteers who can work at least 32 hours per week.
For more information, contact Childrey at 360-569-6784. You can go to rainiervolunteers.blogspot.com to fill out an application online.
March 2012: 15,977
March 2011: 17,283
Difference: -7.6 percent
Year to date 2012: 47,232
Year to date 2011: 58,463
Difference: -19.2 percent
Visitation at Mount Rainier National Park is showing signs of improvement, but is stilling lagging behind last year’s counts. The year-to-date count is the lowest since 2009. Still, the park is closing the gap compared to 2011. In February, the year-to-date count was 24.1 behind the count in 2010 and 15.6 percent behind for the month.
March 2012: 70,186
March 2011: 105,061
Difference: -33.2 percent
Year to date 2012: 214,656
Year to date 2011: 254,501
Difference: -15.7 percent
A drop in visitation along the coast led to a significant decrease in the number of recreation visits last month compared with March 2011. The year-to-date count drop from 3.3 percent behind last year to 15.7 percent behind 2011’s count. March’s count is the lowest in more than five years.Jeffrey P. Mayor, email@example.com