Comment on State Parks RFP cancellation

January 22, 2020

They blinked.

Responding to public pressure, State Parks has canceled (withdrawn) the RFP for “Fitness and Recreation Opportunties” at Carlsbad State Beaches. The public meeting for January 23 has also been canceled. (Read here.)

While this is a victory for us in the local community, it doesn’t put the issue to rest. Players and supporters will still need to stay involved and keep the pressure on. Here is language from the supplemental notice to the formal cancellation announcement:

In the best interest of the State, the Request for Proposals (RFP) #P18CA030 to provide a Fitness and Recreation Concession at Carlsbad and South Carlsbad State Beaches has been cancelled. The Pre-Proposal Meeting scheduled at 6PM on January 23, 2020, at the Hilton Garden Inn-Carlsbad Beach has also been cancelled. The Department will work with the community to determine how to best meet the needs of the parks and visitors. Please check the Department’s website for any future updates.

This short notice appears to have come from Parks Director Lisa Mangat’s office although it is unsigned and unattributed. It could be she’s acting on the letter we sent to her office via Priority Mail. At least there is a commitment by State Parks to work with the community to develop something that meets the needs of the community (assuming they follow through). Regardless of the mechanism, there has to be a better solution for recreational players than a private, commercial, pay-to-play concession operating virtually unchecked as it does currently.

The next question is whether State Parks will follow through on their own audit recommendations and terminate the existing month-to-month limited concession for cause.