Bid period for O.C. Sailing and Events Center officially closed

DANA POINT — The bidding process to lease and operate the O.C. Sailing and Events Center in Dana Point is officially over.

Vendors were invited to submit bids to assume operations of the O.C. Sailing and Events Center from the county of Orange through Jan. 22. The exact number of respondents and nature of the proposals were not obtained at press time.

Operating the maritime venue at Dana Point Harbor, however, could prove challenging considering the current fiscal year budget predicts the O.C. Sailing and Events Center’s projected revenue is expected to cover less than half of estimated expenses (see sidebar).

Documents and information available on the official bid submission site – bidsync.com – indicate vendors asked several questions of the county about the condition of the maritime venue and the types of revenue streams available from current or prospective tenants.

Also included on the bid submission site were an executed agreement with Westwind Sailing, an official letter from the Boy Scouts of America (Orange County Council), a schedule of events, income and expense information, and a fee schedule from 2011.

County officials informed vendors a few repairs were made to the O.C. Sailing and Events Center during the past two years, including new siding and windows in select areas. The west docks were also repaired.

Vendors also inquired about gross receipt reports for the entities operating at the center.

“The county does not track gross revenues for each user group, only collects fees based on the executed agreement,” county staff replied.

A spreadsheet was included in the documents section of the bid submission site to show revenues of each user group for 2014 and 2015. Revenues for Westwind Sailing, for example, were $108,959.50 in 2014 and $98,894 in 2015. The Sea Scouts (operated by Boy Scouts of America) reported $1,142.50 in revenue for 2014 and $2,527.50 for 2015. Seven other groups showed revenues ranging $595 in 2014 (Grapevine) to $31,635 in 2015 (Branches).

Officials added the new operators would have access to any and all county-owned equipment at the O.C. Sailing and Events Center.

Interested vendors were also provided with a California Coastal Commission staff report from September 2010 outlining Dana Point Harbor’s district regulations. The 167-page report stated the types of uses allowable for the city’s harbor revitalization.

The Boy Scouts of America submitted a letter to all potential bidders on Jan. 8, stating the organization intends to continue operating its Sea Scouts program at the O.C. Sailing and Events Center despite a change management.

“We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the county of Orange and its Board of Supervisors, and have been present at the Dana Point Sailing and Events Center … since its opening,” Jeffrie Herrman, president of the Boy Scouts of America’s Orange County Council, wrote in his letter. “We intend to continue our program and continue using the facility at the harbor going forward.”

Herrmann added he hoped to work with the future center operators to ensure the Sea Scouts’ use of the O.C. Sailing and Events Center would continue to be allowed.

Westwind Sailing currently has an agreement with Orange County to operate out of the O.C. Sailing and Events Center until March 31.

A pre-proposal meeting scheduled for Dec. 17, 2015 was cancelled because of lack of interest. County officials did not reschedule the meeting for a later date.

Submitted proposal were scheduled for review on Jan. 25. The county could conduct optional oral interviews on Feb. 3; a lease could be in front of the Board of Supervisors for approval in March.

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