King wants National Park contract process reform | News

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King wants National Park contract process reform

BAR HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Senators Angus King and Susan Collins are continuing to fight the National Park Service over the way it awards contracts to companies providing concession services inside national parks.

The issue became hearted last year when the park service selected a New Mexico based corporation over a Maine company to operate the Acadia National Park concessions, including three gift shops and the restaurant at Jordan Pond House.

Acadia Corporation had been operating those concessions for 80 years before losing the bid last year. Dawnland LLC, a New Mexico based company, signed a 10-year contract with the park service.

Sen. King believes the bidding process is flawed because they didn't factor in the $3 million impact to the local economy. He said they're not holding the company accountable for what it promises in the bidding process.

"We discovered some really serious flaws in the process. It would be like going into a car dealer and saying what's the price and I don't care how the car runs. I thought that was just ridiculous," said Senator King.

President of Acadia Corporation David Woodside said not having the association with the park has cut their business significantly. They've downsized from 200 employees to now 50 workers.

"They (Senator King and Collins) really did everything they could to dissuade the park services from making this decision. But the bureaucracy won out," said Woodside.

NEWS CENTER reached out to Dawnland LLC, but they didn't want to comment.