The deadline has passed for potential vendors to submit their business plans for concessions services at Henderson Beach State Park, and a total of nine proposals were filed.
Plans were submitted by Beachside Fun; Coastal Cruisers LLC; Florida at Your Service LLC; Friends of Emerald Coast State Park Inc.; Island Sands Beach Services of NW FL LLC and Island Sands Beach Weddings LLC; La Dolce Vita LLC; Park Venues LLC; Rosha Ventures LLC; and Swell Pops LLC.
The Florida Parks Service and Department of Environmental Protection have been soliciting bids to offer concessions at the park, which could include services ranging from wedding vendors and watersports rentals to merchandise retailers and food vendors.
Michael Borrello from the FLDEP told The Log that under Florida Statute 119.071, the department has 30 days from the submittal deadline to review the bids privately before determining which companies they would pursue negotiations with.
"Until that time, bids are not public record in order to preserve the integrity of the bidding process," he wrote in an email.
Based on feedback during an informational meeting about the proposals and comments from residents on The Log's Facebook page, the idea of concessions at the park has garnered some blowback, although there are others that support the idea.
Offering concessions at state parks is not something out of the ordinary, as more than 80 parks throughout the state offer some type of concessions.