Park accepting proposals for new Cliff Park lease
BUSHKILL – The National Park Service has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a 10-year lease for the Cliff Park Inn hotel, restaurant and nine-hole golf course (Commercial Use) within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The property is located at 155 Cliff Park Road, in Dingmans Township, Pike County, just outside of Milford, Pennsylvania.
“Every effort is being made to find an appropriate, new operator for this unique property,” said Superintendent John Donahue.
The RFP provides the opportunity for interested individuals and organizations to submit proposals by May 1, 2012, to the National Park Service (NPS) to lease a federal property. The leasable portion of the property contains 59.03 acres of land. The nine hole, par 35, golf course sits on approximately 45.3 acres. The buildings and properties included in the lease are identified in the RFP. The most prominent building is the Cliff Park Inn hotel and restaurant, a four-level, 14,244 square-foot structure with 12 guest rooms, including two suites. The new lessee will be authorized to operate a hotel, restaurant, and bar, and will be required to operate and maintain a golf course.
The National Park Service purchased the Cliff Park Inn and Golf Course, and approximately 500 acres in 2003, to protect the property from development.
Fifty years ago, Harry Buchanan, the former Cliff Park owner, made a promise to make it part of the park. If the property had been sold and developed for housing, the public would have lost access to the trails, the inn and the golf course forever. When the National Park Service acquired the Cliff Park property, it was obligated to honor the seven-year lease which encumbered the property. “The lessee was required to complete all maintenance and repair in exchange for a $1.00 (one dollar) a year rent,” said Donahue. However, under the prior lease, the historic property was not maintained properly and the NPS has spent a substantial amount of money to remove oil tanks and other hazardous materials.
The NPS is looking for an operator willing to invest in a long-term business opportunity and not simply consume the property and its amenities for short-term profit. The necessary investment will be offset by the income over ten years. As an incentive to the right party, the NPS has agreed to accept $1.00 (one dollar) annually for rent instead of the appraised rental income. The appraised rental income represents almost two-thirds of the investment needed to make the inn, restaurant and golf course fully operational.
“Harry Buchanan was dedicated to keeping his promise to make Cliff Park part of the park and the Buchanan Family has made a significant effort to see that it is preserved and available for future generations,” Donahue added. “We want to re-instate normal operations at the inn and golf course at the earliest possible date.”
The updated RFP is available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/dewa.
Viable, interested parties may arrange to make an inspection tour. For additional information, please contact Janel Kenas at 570-426-2418.
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